Little says mid-summer more than the buzzing of cicadas and the rich rainbow of colors from stately large-flowering gladioli. Our collection of gladioli is sourced mainly from farms in the United States that propagate their own stocks. A few selections we find in the Netherlands. We guaranty healthy, disease-free, #1-sized corms that will produce flower stalks this year.
Gladioli are grown from a bulb-like structure called a corm. Our large-flowering gladiolus corms are NOT reliably hardy below USDA zone 8 although I have seen them "carry over" in the garden if well mulched and protected from driving winter winds. Corms are very easy to winter over in a cool cellar or even a vegetable drawer in an old refrigerator. Just dig them up in the fall after the leaves have died back, lay them in dry shade for a few days to "harden off", clip off the old stem about an inch above the large corm, and place them in a paper bag until next spring when you can again plant them. You'll notice each corm that you planted will have grown larger and also produced a few smaller ones. These little corms can also be planted to grow into flowering-sized corms in just a few years. Before you know it, you'll be giving them to friends!
Gladiolus make some of the best cut-flower that come from the garden. Cut them when the first and lowest floret begins to unfurl and bring them inside out of the sun and elements. Re-cut the bottom by taking off an inch of stem UNDER WATER just before placing them into their final vase or arrangement. Another tip is to remove the very tops of the stem where the immature florets will not develop and will suppress the lower florets from fully developing. It also keeps the stem looking more fresh. Remove lower florets as they fade and wilt to keep the stem looking fresh. You may want to re-cut the stems and change the vase water every few days to keep the stems lasting as long as possible.