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Spotlight on Gladioli
Majestic plants for late summer and early autumn the flowers are long lasting both in the garden and when cut. They are not troubled by strong winds and can be used anywhere in the garden, in the border or the vegetable garden for cut flowers. The dwarf and medium flowering gladioli make an outstanding and economic alternative to traditional summer bedding. They are guaranteed to keep their form and colour whatever weather the summer may bring.
Gladioli have what is known as a double rooting system. When planted fibrous roots appear from the base of the corm which sustain it during its initial growth. Fleshy roots then develop from the top of the corm which feeds the flower spike and builds up the new corms which form at the base of the flower stem on top of the original corm. As the season progresses, the original fibrous roots are replaced by vigorous new roots that search down for food and moisture.
Gladioli should be planted 12cm (5 inches) deep in light soil or 8cm (3inches) in heavy soil. They will thrive in any good garden soil, and benefit from the addition of humus materials, but good drainage is of primary importance. If you have heavy soil don’t plant following heavy rain or a frost when the soil is wet and sticky, delay a few days until it has been warmed by the sun.
After about two months when the plant has formed five or six leaves you should be able to feel the flower embryo near the base. It is at this time you must make sure the soil does not dry out. It is a good idea to give the plants a good soaking in the evening for the moisture to penetrate to the roots rather than they turn upwards to find it.
Finally, depending on your planting and especially if you intend to use gladioli as cut flowers it is possible to impact flowering times. Generally, gladioli will be in their prime about three months after planting. If you want to, you can plant gladioli every weekend from the end of March until the end of May.
If you did not include gladiolus on your original order they can easily be added, remember there is no postage to pay using our membership scheme.