How to Grow Gladiolis at Home

Gorgeous gladdies add colour, structure and interest to a garden. They’re also great for cutting and will brighten up your home in a flash!


{Level: Beginners/General}


Gladioli are beloved for their elegant blooms and vibrant colours. Their height adds structure and interest to the garden, and the beautiful, showy spires make wonderful cut flowers.

There are many varieties available, with lots of height {up to two metres) and colour options so you’re sure to find one or more that suit your garden or home’s interior palette. Gladioli bloom during summertime and are the perfect successor to Spring bulbs.

The good news is that they are also very easy to grow. Here’s how:

  1. Select your corms (a type of bulb) from a reputable seller. I always choose mine from nurseries or growers with chemical-free or organic practices. Store away from sunlight in a cool,dark and dry spot until you are ready to plant.

  2. The ideal time for planting is from late winter through to early/mid-Spring. In tropical regions, you can plant year-round. It typically takes 90 – 100 days from planting to flowering, so you can also use this as a guide to when to plant. TIP: Plant in successive batches for an extended season.

  3. Select a sunny growing spot that is protected from strong winds with free-draining soil.

  4. Prepare your garden beds by adding compost or well-rotted manure.

  5. Plant the corms 10 – 15 cm deep with the growing point facing up.

  6. Space the corms about 10 – 15 cm apart in clumps for maximum visual effect.

  7. Now is also the time to insert garden stakes. The plants may need to be tied to them as they grow to prevent wind damage. One stake will support three or more plants. TIP: It’s best to hammer in the stake while planting so that you don’t disturb the roots later.

  8. Water in well and continue to water at least once a week until after blooming. More watering is needed during a heatwave. TIP: a deep watering once a week is better than a light splash daily.

  9. For best results, apply a complete fertiliser approximately a month before flowering is due to occur. This will help to ensure vibrant blooms. You can continue to use a soluble fertiliser about once a fortnight while in bloom. I use organic or natural fertilisers and make sure they don’t contain any toxic chemicals or harmful substances.

  10. If you experience pest activity {e.g. thrips} then I recommend seek out a natural and follow instructions. My main issue has been with snails and I dealt with this by spraying the leaves with a mix of eco-detergent and clean water {about one-part detergent to nine parts water} a few times a week.

  11. Cut when the flower spires are approximately half-open, and they will continue to open once inside in water.

  12. After cutting, allow the stalks to yellow and die back. This provides nourishment to the corms and prepares them for re-growth next year.

  13. In many climates, your gorgeous gladioli will continue to grow back year after year. However, if you’re located in a frost-prone area it is wiser to dig the corms up once the stalks have died back and store them in a cool, dark, dry place before replanting next season.

Follow these instructions and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy crop of stunning summer gladioli to brighten both your garden and inside your home!


Join me and become part of a movement supporting sustainable florists and growers. By participating in conversations, asking questions and making small changes in the way you buy flowers, you’ll be helping to move the flower industry from a profit-first approach to one where conscious farming is normal practice.

If you’d like to follow along on my flower-growing journey, find out more about sustainable flowers and be one of the first hear about upcoming events, offers and workshops, then I’d love to connect with you via email. You’re warmly invited to sign-up to the Winter Creek Flowers Newsletter, where you’ll hear from me once a month or so. I look forward to e-meeting you!

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