Q: I love gladioli and would like to have some of my own in my plot. Nevertheless, as it is a paved courtyard, I would have to expand them in containers. Is this attainable, and if so, are there any strategies I have to have to know ahead of I get started?
A: Structural gladioli with their blousy blooms make a true statement – and they’re quick to improve in both of those borders and containers. In simple fact, rising them in pots has some rewards, as it can make it less complicated to give them the enough drainage and daylight that they require.
These summer bulbs make more than enough of an impression to be planted just by them selves. Alternatively, attempt pairing them with bold crops such as crocosmia, cannas or coleus – perfect for a tropical back garden scheme.
How to plant gladioli in pots
‘Choose a larger sized pot for taller glads, to stability the top,’ suggests Camilla Phelps, a gardening expert. Situation the container someplace with lots of sun in the course of the day.
Use crocks and a good-good quality potting soil this kind of as Speculate Soil out there on Amazon (opens in new tab), or just one with included grit or vermiculite, so the expanding medium is truly nicely drained. Camilla suggests boosting containers off the floor utilizing pot stands – like these wheeled ones on Amazon (opens in new tab) – as this will allow extra drinking water escape and aid to reduce the corms from rotting.
‘Corms really do not require soaking or any unique preparing beforehand,’ claims Camilla. Plant them around 4-6in deep. In the floor, they have to have to be spaced about this measurement apart, far too. But according to the Royal Horticultural Modern society (opens in new tab) (the RHS), you can plant them a bit nearer alongside one another when growing them in containers.
Camilla claims the Nanus varieties of gladioli are usually greater suited to pots as they don’t involve staking. ‘For taller gladioli, set stakes in when you plant the corms to mark the place, and simply tie in the stems as they arise,’ she provides. ‘This also aids to stay clear of accidentally piercing the corms if you increase stakes later on.’
An pro gardener, Camilla has built planting schemes for gardens substantial and smaller in the Uk, as properly as working on Television gardening displays for the BBC. She has also composed an substantial array of functions on crops and how to mature them, and is a typical contributor to Newbie Gardening magazine.
When to plant gladioli in pots
The very best time to plant gladioli in the ground is in spring, when pitfalls of frosts have handed. Having said that, increasing them in containers features a very little more versatility.
‘The benefit of planting bulbs in containers is that you can start out them as early as March and preserve them in a frost-free place,’ claims Camilla. Transfer the pots outdoor when it is heat plenty of. Alternatively, some gardeners choose to plant them out into their borders at this issue.
Feeding and watering gladioli in pots
‘Keep the potting soil damp but not saturated,’ suggests Camilla.
When the flower spikes start off to variety, you can start off to feed the vegetation. Use a high-potassium fertilizer this kind of as Burpee Natural and organic Tomato and Vegetable Granular Plant Meals (opens in new tab) or a liquid variation like Espoma Organic Concentrated Tomato Fertilizer (opens in new tab) – both are available on Amazon.
At the time they have completed flowering, decrease watering, then retain them dry for the duration of the dormant year, states the RHS.
Complications to look out for when increasing gladioli in pots
‘Although fairly pest- and ailment-free, look at out for slugs and snails feasting on younger shoots,’ warns Camilla. Get rid of them applying pet-protected pest command, these types of as Sluggo Furthermore Wildlife- and Pet-Safe Slug Killer, found on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Fungal disorders can have an effect on plants throughout intervals of interesting, damp weather conditions, she adds. These can be combatted by supplying plants plenty of room to improve so they are well-ventilated and by making use of a fungicide such as Back garden Secure fungicide, also out there from Amazon (opens in new tab).
How should really you overwinter gladioli in pots?
For milder areas, introducing a layer of mulch on top rated of your pots or wrapping them in fleece can be sufficient to assure your gladioli previous the wintertime.
In colder climates, consider going the pots somewhere frost-absolutely free this kind of as the shed. Or, if you want to use the pots for winter season plants, elevate the corms, dry them out, and retail store them in packing containers or trays someplace dry and cool – equally to dahlias.
Gladioli make a impressive addition to container gardening, so be certain to plant them in your area this spring. Just recall to give them solar and excellent drainage and they’ll reward you with blooms that seem stunning, the two outdoor and as slash flowers for your home.