Gladiolus Will Brighten Your Late Summer Garden   Leave a comment

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Gladioluses have to be my favorite flowers.  For someone like me who lives in a freezing climate, they are a little bit of work.  But they are so worth it.  Don’t buy the bag or box of 25 multicolored bulbs in the spring from Lowes or Home Depot.  Instead, buy the beautiful, vibrant, colors that you can only get from a nursery that sells them individually, or from a mail order catalog.  I have found the mixtures are the cheapest, dullest colors.  To get the beautiful colors, you have to look a little harder.  Plant them in the spring, right around the time of your last frost.  For me, in zone 6, that’s at the end of April.  I dig a trench about 6″ deep, sprinkle in some bone meal, and throw in A LOT of gladioli.  I used to follow the planting directions that say 4-6″ apart.  But then you just get a  whole line of soldiers that don’t look very good.  So now I plant them very close together, but just one row, so they have some room in the front and back.  Around the end of July you will start to get beautiful stalks of flowers.  If you buy early, mid, and late varieties, you’ll be enjoying them for a longer period.  Mine last about a month.  You may have to stake or tie them up, or just do what I do – cut them and bring them inside to enjoy!

Come fall, you have to dig them up and store them in a cool basement for the winter.  Although last year, because I had a thrip problem, I left mine in the ground, assuming they would die and I would replace them in the spring.  I planted the replacements in a different area, so the thrips wouldn’t get into the new ones.  Wouldn’t you know, the old ones came up again, even after being overwintered in the ground, and the thrips are not a problem this year.  Could leaving them outside all winter have killed the thrips?  I don’t know, but I had more than enough glads this summer.

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Posted August 14, 2009 by cindyeo in garden, gladiolus

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