Do you also know someone who will be walking the Nijmegen Four Days Marches this year? And do you want to encourage this person when he or she covers the last kilometers? Then it is important to go to Nijmegen on July 21 with a large bunch of gladioli. Now you could of course just buy these from the florist, but it is of course even more fun to give gladioli that you have grown yourself. If you start planting gladiolus in pots in April, you will have a beautiful bouquet in mid-July.
We will now explain step by step how planting gladioli in pots works. First, however, we will tell you a little more about the gladiolus. It is of course so nice to know more about the plant that you are going to grow yourself.
Disaster or success
The gladiolus ( Gladiolus ), also called the sword plant, gets its name from the sword-shaped leaves. There are about 260 different gladiolus species in total, of which about 10 are found in Europe.
The gladiolus is a real summer bloomer and is therefore planted in the spring. If you plant the tubers in April or May, they will flower from July to September. Gladioli are characterized by their long, sturdy, upright stem. Several beautifully colored flowers grow on both sides of this stem. The color of gladiolus can vary widely. From yellow to red and from purple to orange. By crossing different species, there are now even gladioli with flowers that have multiple colors.
Contrary to popular belief, the gladiolus is not a flower bulb, but a tuber. The difference between the two is where the food is stored. With flower bulbs, the food is stored in the leaves under the ground, while with tubers it is stored in the roots and stems.
Victory, strength, and pride
You will undoubtedly know the proverb death or the gladiolus. Especially in the sports world, this is often used. The meaning of this proverb dates back to the ancient Romans. As entertainment, gladiator fights were organized at this time in which gladiators fought each other in an arena. This fight was generally decided by the death of one of the gladiators. The other gladiator, the victor, was showered with gladioli. The flower symbolizes victory, strength, and pride.
You can plant gladiolus in a pot in 5 simple steps
Planting gladiolus in pots may seem like quite a challenge at first glance. Judging by the beauty of the flowers, it must be quite a job. Nothing could be further from the truth. Planting gladiolus in pots is a job that anyone will do well with a few simple steps.
Step 1: The foundation must be good
When planting plants, it is always important to start with a good foundation. With gladiolus plants in pots, this basis is of course with the pot. How it looks depends on your own taste. However, it is important that the plant gets enough space. Therefore, make sure that the pot is deep enough for the gladiolus.
The best distance to keep for planting the gladiolus is 7 to 10 centimeters. So the pot must always be bigger. To make sure that the flower pot is big enough, it is best to maintain a depth of at least 15 centimeters.
Step 2: The water drainage from the pot
Once you have chosen a beautiful flowerpot, it is important to check whether and how the water drains from it. Tubers do not like to stand with their roots in soil that is too wet. Excess water must therefore be drained. This can be done, for example, through holes in the bottom of the pot.
Do you want to put one pot in another pot?
Make sure that the inner pot is higher than the outer pot. You can do this simply by placing the inner pot on a stone in the outer pot. The excess water still has enough room to drain.
Step 3: Plant gladiolus in a pot
When the base is in place, we will continue with what it is all about: planting the gladioli. To do this, first fill the pot with soil or potting compost. Make sure you stay between 7 and 10 centimeters below the edge so that you can easily put the tubers in place.
Pay attention! If you buy tubers from the garden center, there is always a plant label with it. This shows exactly how deep the tubers have to go into the soil. These values can deviate from the 7 to 10 centimeters that we mention. However, always adhere to the values of the plant label.
When you have filled the pot to the correct height with soil, you can put the gladiolus tubers in the sand. If you want to put several tubers together in one pot, it is wise to keep a distance of 10 centimeters.
Then fill the flower pot with the remaining soil. It is important not to fill the flower pot all the way to the top. After all, you will still have to water the plant regularly and possibly provide it with fertilizer. However, this is only possible if you leave enough space for this.
Step 4: The location
In principle, planting gladiolus in a pot is already done. The tubers are in the right position and will slowly but surely settle in the ground. To help them with this, it is important to place the flower pot exactly in the right place in the garden.
What place is this?
The place where you probably prefer to be: right in the sun! Since most gladioli originate in warmer countries, they also work best in our country at warmer temperatures.
Step 5: A helping hand
Although gladioli look like vigorous and sturdy plants, they could use a little help during their growing period. To prevent them from bending, you can prick a stick in the flowerpot and loosely tie the stem of the gladiolus to it. The gladiolus will not bend over as it grows.
Tip: Do you want to put the gladiolus in a vase, use it in a bouquet, or, as mentioned earlier, hand it over to someone who has walked the four days of Nijmegen? Then cut the stems about four inches above the ground.
The death of the gladiolus
Everything comes to an end, including the flowering season of the gladiolus. In most cases, this will be around September. However, this does not mean that you should throw away the plants with the pot and all. The tubers of gladiolus can be put in the ground again in the new year.
If you want to do this, it is important that you remove the tubers from the ground and store them in time. We will again tell you how this harvesting works in a clear step-by-step plan.
Step 1: Remove the green
If you haven’t already done this, it will of course start with removing the dead plant. As soon as it has finished flowering, the leaves hang limply and the stems turn yellow, you can cut it, just like if you want to put the flowers in a vase, at 10 centimeters above the ground. This green waste can be put on the compost heap.
Watch out! Gladiolus are tubers. This means that they have stored food in the stem. However, they need this food in the winter to survive. Therefore, give the plant time to extract the nutrition from the stem and store it in the bulb. So you only start this process when the plant has completely died.
Step 2: Dig out the tubers and let them dry
The next step is to dig out the tubers. Remove both the large tuber and the smaller tubers from the soil and remove the soil by gently tapping it off. Now also cut off the remaining stem from the tuber.
Now put the tubers in a warm and dry place and give them a few weeks to dry properly. Make sure that the tubers also get enough oxygen. So don’t put them under a thick pile of towels, for example.
Step 3: The final cleaning
When the tubers have dried after 2 to 3 weeks, you can remove the excess soil again. You can easily do this with your hands, but you can also use a soft brush. Make sure not to break the skin around the tuber. This offers the tuber protection and can remain in place better.
Step 4: Store the tubers
The last step is to store the tubers. In principle, this is not such a difficult job. If you want to put the large tubers in the ground again next year, beautiful gladioli will grow again. The small tubers can also be put in the ground. However, these do not bloom into gladioli in the first year. In the second year, the small tubers have grown into large tubers, and they do bloom into gladioli.