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August is my birthday month. If you didn’t know already, the beautiful and hardy gladiolus is the flower for the month of August. So, in honor of my birth month and others born in August, I want to tell you all about when to plant gladiolus and how to care for them.
Gladioli are very colorful and tall flowers, perfect for a vase in the middle of the kitchen table, but they are so much more too.
Another name for the hardy gladiolus is the “sword lily”. This August flower represents integrity, calmness, and infatuation. I have been told that I’m very calm, so this flower is a great representation of me!
Gladiolus come from Africa and Eurasia. There are a few hundred species of gladiolus from these places. From these species, gardeners have an endless supply of gladiolus types to choose from.
The hardy gladiolus was used to treat sickness. Also, parts of this flower are poisonous if eaten by animals and people. Gladioli also represent 40th year anniversaries.
This “flower of the gladiators” grows abundantly in the summer months as well as in the winter. These flowers can be found in an array of colors as well as sizes. Gladiolus flowers can grow as small as 2.5 inches and as large as 5.5 inches around.
Gladiolus flowers make great additions to gardens indoor bouquets. Some gardeners grow these flowers specifically to use as cut flowers. They can also add color to any garden.
One might think gladiolus flowers would not make great container plants due to their length, but they do! Make sure your container is large, at least 12 inches deep, with plenty of holes for good water drainage. Smaller varieties of gladiolus work great in containers, but you can experiment with other types and see how well they do.
Container plants need more water than ground plants, so make sure your gladiolus has plenty of water. If you want to keep the plant for future growth, use a good fertilizer on the plant at least once a month.
The bulbs, or corms, can be stored for future use if kept properly. Make sure to fertilize the plant if you want to keep using the corms to grow flowers.
When to Plant Gladiolus
Bulbs should be planted in spring to ensure the growth of flowers by the summer. Make sure the soil is loose for the corms. Tall types of gladiolus need to be staked so the plant doesn’t fall over as it grows.
Plant the corms a few inches deep, pointy part up. Second, keep each corm a few inches apart to ensure the roots have plenty of space to spread out. Lastly, generously water the corms.
Now it’s time to be patient! It can take the gladiolus up to three months to bloom. If you aren’t the patient type gardening will definitely teach you to do so!
Types of Gladiolus
There are many types of gladiolus, over 250 species located all over the world, so this is a pretty popular flower. I have mentioned a few different types of gladioli below.
Gladiolus plants have been bred to produce flowers in all sorts of colors and color combinations. The ones that are short in height are suitable for containers. Gladiolus that are grown tall makes great cut flowers for bouquets and other floral arrangements.
There are types of gladiolus that grow only in the summer and other varieties that can be grown in the winter. These winter growers do best in warmer climates and Southern states.
There are four types of gladioli: summer species, winter species, summer hybrids and butterfly hybrids. They all come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Here are some examples of different types of gladioli:
- Gladiolus alatus-bright orange color
- Gladiolus angustus-white with some red
- Gladiolus flanaganii-red color
- Gladiolus x gandavensis ‘Wine and Roses’-hybrid pink and white
- Gladiolus ‘Frizzled Coral Lace’-peachy pink color
- Gladiolus ‘Amsterdam-bright white
- Gladiolus ‘Carolina Primrose’-lemon yellow summer hybrid
- Gladiolus venustus-pink, purple, white combo
- Gladiolus papilio-lavender color
- Gladiolus illyricus-pink/purple
Most of these gladioli need full sun. A comprehensive list of these beautiful flowers can be found at The National Gardening Association’s gladioli database.
Finally, just like other plants, gladioli can be victim to pests. Watch out for snails, aphids, mealybugs, and other critters that you may find roaming about your flowers. Pest sprays and home made pest repellents can help keep these insects away from your gladioli.
Get Your Hardy Gladiolus!
In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed this quick introduction on when to plant gladiolus and more information about August’s birth flower. If you have anything to add to this hardy gladiolus blog, let me know in the comments section below. Happy gardening!