QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 4 to 9.
3. Planting Distance - 4 to 6 inches apart in ground.
4. Mature Height/Spread - 20 to 24 inches tall.
5. Bloom Time - Mid-summer to fall.
6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole about 4 - 6 inches deep and twice the width of the dormant Gladiolus corm. Carefully place the corm in the hole with its tip 3 inches below the soil surface. (The tip goes up.) Work soil in and around corm, firming it with fingers. Water thoroughly after planting.
GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT
These Gladiolus varieties are called Orchid Glads for their stunning color combinations. A group of these bulbs in flower will be so striking in appearance that one would have to get close to make sure they are real. Each flower is a work of art. Some of the color combinations are so remarkably sharp and vivid that it appears that the colors were applied with an artist's brush. Hardy Orchid Gladiolus will beautify your garden, as well as provide excellent cut flowers for long-lasting bouquets. But unlike ordinary Glads, they are so hardy they don't have to be lifted in the fall and replanted each spring.
Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office. These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance. See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:
1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground. Do not allow plants in containers to dry out. In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat. You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Grooming - Flower stems should be cut when petals begin to really fade. You don’t want the flower heads to go to seed. Seed formation drains off the food needed to produce next year’s growth, which is essential for further bulb development. Leaves should be allowed to die back naturally before removing. The green leaves are the last things to wither and dry up but they do provide the nourishment for your bulb growth. DO NOT remove the foliage while it is still green.
Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.
Winterizing - After frost has blackened the foliage of your perennials, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straw, or leaves to in-ground plantings to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.
For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 7 to 10 days.
In spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings. Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.