“We live in Miami and planted gladiolus bulbs this spring. They bloomed beautifully! How are we supposed to cut them, so they bloom next spring? Should we dig them up or just cut the leaves?” Question from Brenda of Miami Florida
Answer: Gladiolus hybrids will thrive year-round as perennials in your Miami garden (USDA Hardiness Zone 10), so they don’t need to be dug up in fall. Cut back the foliage as it starts to turn yellow. The plants will experience some dormancy before putting forth new foliage and then flowers.
Gladiolus species are native to Africa, Southern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and garden hybrids are mixes of quite a few species from these areas. Where native, gladiolus undergo either a cold-season or dry-season dormant period. Because you have very little seasonal cold, the main thing that will kill your glads is excessive soil moisture during dormancy. So, make sure that their soil is fast draining and very porous. Plant them in light soil that is raised and well amended with organic matter, such as Black Gold Peat Moss. You may also want to amend further with a mineral additive, such as Gran-I-Grit or even sand, to further increase drainage. Over time, happy gladiolus can naturalize in southern gardens.
Some of my favorite glads are heirlooms with old-fashioned charm (click here for a good source). I also love the elegant Byzantine gladiolus (Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus), which is a species bearing long-blooming spires of purple-red summer flowers.
I hope that this information helps!
Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.
This site may contain content (including images and articles) as well as advice, opinions and statements presented by third parties. Sun Gro does not review these materials for accuracy or reliability and does not endorse the advice, opinions, or statements that may be contained in them. Sun Gro also does not review the materials to determine if they infringe the copyright or other rights of others. These materials are available only for informational purposes and are presented “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement or other information is at your own risk. In no event shall Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution, Inc. or any of its affiliates be liable to you for any inaccuracy, error, omission, fact, infringement and the like, resulting from your use of these materials, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting there from.