Gladiolus, native to South Africa, comes in a wide variety of colors. These flowers grow very tall, up to five or six feet. The flowers grow on a thick spike, opening out of a tubular structure. The leaves are sword shaped and up to ten leaves grow on a plant. Gladiolus are bulbous perennials that grow from corms planted in mid-May, blooming in July.

Gladiolus are stiff and upright; they need to be spiked to flourish. When choosing their position in a yard or garden, Gladiolus are striking against a fence or flat surface. Because they are so tall, it?s important to position them towards the back of the garden. If glads are not spiked properly, they can fall over, crushing more delicate flowers. Gladiolus prefer full-sun spots and are easily overtaken by weeks, so be careful to select a cultivated area. Bulbs should be planted two to three feet apart. Gladiolus do well in a row, like vegetables, forming a wall of brilliant flowers.

Due to their size, Gladiolus are not often picked for houseplants. Since they thrive in a variety of climates, outdoors is the best place to grow these sturdy blooms.

In a bouquet, Gladiolus are magnificent centerpieces. To help them last as long as possible in a vase, only two to three flowers should be open when picked. Every few days, cut another inch of stem off the flower so they continue to bloom brightly. Gladiolus can be paired with a wide variety of flowers, but more delicate or smaller blooms can be damaged if the Gladiolus is not properly restrained.

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