Gladiolus Flower is a beautiful and an attractive flower. It is well known as a cut flower and lasts for a considerable period in the flower vase. It also gives an attractive look to the garden when planted in the bed. South Africa is its place of origin. Gladiolus Flower flower comes in different colors such as red, white, yellow, violet and mixture of these colors. In this “Gladiolus Flower: How to Grow Gladiolus” post you will get step by step cultivation process of Gladiolus.
Scientific name: Gladiolus spp.
The term Gladiolus has come from the latin word “gladius” means sword as the leaves of these plants is sword like. Gladiolus Flower is also known as butterfly flower in Bangladesh.
Table of Contents
How to Grow Gladiolus
Variety of Gladiolus Flower
There are many varieties of Gladiolus Flower in the world. Some commercial varieties of gladiolus recommended for the plain land are:
Oscar, Golden-wave, Bloom fontain, Yellow Empire, White fancy, Happy end, Melody etc.
Climate and Soil
This flower grows well in cool weather. Generally, 15 – 250 C temperature is favorable for its vegetative growth and flowering. Gladiolus likes a daylight of 8 – 10 hours. A sunny place, free from heavy wind should be selected for gladiolus flower cultivation. Well drained loamy or sandy loam soil is the best for gladiolus cultivation. The soil pH should be 6 – 7.
Propagation of Gladiolus Flower
Gladiolus Flower can be propagated sexually by seed and asexually by corm. Seed propagation is required for raising new variety by seed. But for commercial production corm is used for propagation. For general cultivation corms of 4 – 5cm dia are the best materials to be used. But for the production of exhibition flowers 7.5 – 10 cm dia corms should be planted. The corms should be sprouted before planting. For this medium size corms should be soaked in water for 24 hours and then they are to be planted in the wet sand. After initiation of sprouts, they are to be planted in the main field.
Land preparation and Fertilizer application
The land should be plowed and cross plowed followed by laddering to make the soil well pulverized. It should be prepared in the months of September – October. During final land preparation an amount of 5-6kg cow dung, 30gTSP and 30gMP per square meter should be well mixed with the soil. Gladiolus should not be fertilized with excessive nitrogen because this encourages plants to form long and weak flower stalk. Ten gram of urea per square meter of which 5g should be top dressed 15 days after planting and the rest 5g should be applied at the time of spike initiation.
Planting of gladiolus corms
Many people ask, When do you plant gladiolus bulbs? The right time is after land preparation in the month of October. The previously sprouted corms are to be planted maintaining a row to row spacing of 30 – 40cm and plant to plant spacing of 15 – 25cm and at a depth of 7 – 10cm.
The gladiolus flower field should be free from weeds. So regular weeding should be done. The field should be irrigated after the first installment urea application. Natural mulching is to be followed as soon as the soil becomes workable. During this time, the soil from the row space should be pulled to the base of the plants so that the plants stand on the ridge and for this drains are formed between the rows. Irrigation should be given at an interval of 10 – 12 days. Staking is to be done in each plant at the time of spike initiation so that the plant, as well as the spike, remains straight. During this time, liquid manure should be applied around the base of each plant at an interval of 7 – 10 days.
Harvesting of Gladiolus Flower
Like Tuberose gladiolus flowers also come in spike. When bottom two flower buds are unopened but take full color are ready for harvesting. The spikes should be given a slant cut at the base of the long spike with a sharp knife. Then the harvested spikes are to be immersed up to its neck in a bucket full of water and afterward they are stored at a temperature of 6 – 70 C.
Storage of gladiolus corms
The leaves of the plants become yellow and the plants die after flowering. The corms are then lifted from soil carefully so that they are not injured. The corms are then graded into large, medium and small according to their size and dried in the shade.
The corms are treated with 0.1% Benlate or 0.2% Captan solution for half an hour and then dried. These dried corms are dusted with 5% DDT and are put in the perforated polythene bag, sealed and then stored in a cool and dry place of the house. It is better if these corms can be stored in a cold store where temperature humidity is controlled. Afterward, these corms can be used as propagating materials as and when required.