The Q&A Archives: Gladiola Blooms

Question: I have grown gladiolas for several years. My lower blooms are always dead and dried up before the upper blooms appear. I know when you buy glads from a florist they are in full bloom. What can I do?

Answer: My first guess would be that it has to do with temperature. Glads are delivered to florists when they're still tightly packed buds with just a hint of the petals showing. My guess is that the florists store them under cool conditions where they open more slowly than they do in a regular garden setting. It could be, too, that the glads originate from places where summers are relatively cool, so they develop their buds more evenly. I'm not aware of anything you can do to change the way the plant develops. There are some early, mid-, and late season types; you might experiment with a variety to see if those developing earlier or later in the season open more evenly for you.

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