Flowers are one of the most amazing parts of the plant world, honestly come to think of it everything in the plant universe is just incredible. But flowers being something that comes from the ground from the roots and is able to grow into such beautiful displays of colors and different shapes are just something that fascinates me and I think a lot of people, hence the bouquets as gifts and decoration flower arrangements that we use so often. But more magical them flowers that have been cut to be used for decoration, it is even more amazing when you can have your own flower plants, and as much as you give them love and take care of them, come blooming time you will have a gorgeous spectacle of nature that you can enjoy. Having said all of that, today I come to bring you into the Gladiolus plant universe. Gladiolus are long, elegant, and amazing plants that have extremely gorgeous flowers, which come in quite an extensive variety of colors. So, a question that might arise: Can you plant gladiolus in pots? The good news I have for you today is that it’s definitely possible to grow gladiolus in pots, this way you can have these beauties enhancing your home. It is a plant that is mostly grown outdoors, growing gladiolus indoors is possible. So if this has sparked your curiosity stick around as today we are going to talk about how to plant gladiolus in pots.
Many people that are gardeners or enthusiasts of planting learn to place the gladiolus in between other flowers or to conceal a group of them behind plants that grow closer to the ground in order to hide the gladiolus until their blooming time arrives. But another option is to actually grow gladiolus in pots, this way you can place the plants wherever you wish as they grow. Until they start blooming and are grown enough for you to harvest them to use in arrangements, for example. Once you have cut them, there are two paths you can take, consider them as a flower that is annual. Discarding the corms and stems, or you can allow the fading of the foliage to happen and after that dig the corms up and save the corms so you can replant them the next year. Considering that the bulb of the gladiolus is quite a delicate one and that it does not really survive cold temperatures, by growing them in pots you have the possibility of protecting the plants during the course of winter so that they are able to return to the blooming point every year. You can begin with the corms indoors during spring or the beginning of summer.
If you are planting them in the ground the best time to do it is in the same planting time in your area of sweet corn. Which in other words means that you plant them 2 weeks prior to the last frost of spring. For Gladiolus to flower, it takes from 70 to 90 days, this means that if you plant the corms at the start of may they will be blooming from the middle to the end of summer. If you space the plantings 2 weeks apart you guarantee that you will have flowers to use all summer and early fall.
When growing gladiolus in pots, considering that the soil gets warm in pots faster in comparison to when it is in the ground, you can start planting them sooner even. Knowing when the last spring frost will be, you can plant them 4 weeks prior. Just remembering that if they are outside you will have to protect them when the frost comes.
Gladioli in Pots
Can gladiolus grow in pots? Yes, we have already established that. The thing about growing gladiolus in pots is that they are generous plants, in the sense that if you are able to buy corms from a garden center or plant nursery that is respectable, then they are quite hearty and easy to grow. But there are a few things that they require in order to thrive in your home/garden:
- When choosing a pot it is important that you choose one that has a height that can offer them support. Gladiolus grow to be tall plants. Some reaching an average of 1-meter height. And although they reach tall their root systems are not very strong. The depth of the planting can be from 7 to 12 centimeters, but you will need to offer them some extra support. You can do that but adding some stable stakes to help out the stalks on remaining up. If you are planting gladiolus in pots that are shallow, short, they will grow but without something to sustain them, they can be blown over easily. The ideal pot to hold these plants needs to be wide and at least 30 centimeters deep. And there should be, below the corms, at least 5 to 10 centimeters. Another thing you can you as a planting container are reusable grocery bags if they are deep enough.
- The drainage system is important. Your pot should have good drainage, so the soil has a chance to dry off a bit. If it stays wet constantly, there is a good chance that rotting of the corms will happen. So the pot should have one big hole or several small ones so that the excess of water has where to go. What some people do is to place at the bottom of the pot some gravel, about 2 to 5 centimeters adding on top of that a layer of landscape fabric, this will help in preventing the draining of the soil down which can cause the drainage holes to clog.
What soil should I use?
- When planting gladiolus bulbs in pots something important is choosing the soil. You should use soil that is good for pots. Glads bulbs don’t enjoy swimming in the water, so make sure that you choose rich, high-quality soil, that drains fast. If your soil doesn’t come with slow-release fertilizer, you will want to add that in before you plant your bulbs. I recommend using all-purpose, organic fertilizer, you can mix it with the soil when it is already in the pot. Follow the dosage and application directions so you don’t over-fertilize your soil.
- Corms should be planted with the root side down, about 7 to 12 centimeters deep. Most times the corms have something that looks like “eyes” on its top part, these eye looking things is where the plant stalk will emerge from, so this is the side that should be facing upward. As I said before if you want to have a fairly constant blooming season, you can, every two weeks or so, plant new ones.
- Sunlight dosage. Now, these beautiful things absolutely love sunlight. What they like is direct sunlight for most of the day, if it’s possible. If not they are still able to grow if they have access to six hours of sun, at least, in the middle of the day. So one of the pros of planting gladiolus in pots is that as the sun patterns change you are able to move them around to make sure that they get enough of the sunlight that they love so much.
Taking Care of Your Glads
It is easy enough to care for Gladiolus in pots. Here are some tips that are simple that will help you care for them:
- Give them support: which in this case means adding a stake that they can lean on. Plants that are thin and tall like these will most likely fall over if they don’t find some kind of support.
- Hydrating them: Once a week you should water them heavily. This single soak once a week for them is better than having a series of light waterings in the course of a week. After cutting the flower, when they bloom, keep watering the foliage and the corms until the leaves start to dry up and become brown.
- Fertilizing: Only when you plant them, after that not again. And if the soil you use already has plant food mixed in it, fertilizer is not needed.
- Cutting them: As soon as the lowest buds of the stalk begin to show color the gladiolus is ready to be cut. Cut should be made on an angle and the flowers quickly placed in water after that.
- Foliage: Let them stay in place. After you do the cut, the corms revive themselves, this happens if you let the foliage remain as is until turning brown and drying up. If however, your plan is to get rid of the corms, you may take them out and throw out the stalks and foliage immediately.
This was a guide on how to plant gladiolus in pots. I hope you have found this article to be helpful and wish that you will have a great time with these beautiful, sun-loving plants.
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