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How to plant gladioli corms

You will need

Gladioli corms

Plastic pots

Peat-free, multi-purpose compost

Drainage material, such as broken pots or poystyrene pieces

Plant labels

Do it: late-winter to early spring
At its best: summer
Takes just: 30 minutes


A little effort planting gladioli corms in spring can yield impressive results in summer. For maximum impact, plant in pots successionally over a few weeks, so you have a longer season of colour. Simply plunge each pot into your border when the flowers are at their most spectacular, and replace with a fresh pot when needed.

How to do it


Add good drainage material to the base of the pots, such as polystyrene pieces, broken pots, or pebbles.


Fill the pots with multi-purpose compost and plant corms hairy side down, 15cm (6in) below the soil to prevent the stems from keeling over. Cover the corms with compost.


Label each pot, then water thoroughly and leave to drain. Place in a warm, bright spot, such as a window ledge or in the greenhouse.


In warm conditions, the corms will sprout within a few days. Keep the pots well watered. Gradually harden off the plants, then place them in a sunny outdoor location, once all risk of frost has passed.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to plant gladioli corms
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trillium2cv 09/02/2012 at 20:42

I don't know who prepares these articles but if the corms are 6" deep in the picture then they are truly massive corms and the hand is several feet long. Also they are still promoting the false idea that adding coarse material at the bottom of a pot improves drainage, when in fact it impedes drainage. Have they never heard of a perched water table? The best explanation of this I have seen is in this article by Paul Cumbleton at RHS Wisley

Neil Millican 12/04/2012 at 10:04

I once grew mini gladiolus but haven't come across any more so have had to plant the normall ones only trouble is when they grow they flower and tend to flop over the bulbs are deep enough down please help

Valdel 28/08/2014 at 11:57

What should I do with them once they have finished flowering & have flopped over.

Welshonion 28/08/2014 at 13:37

When they are completely dry dig them up and store for next year. In some well-favoured places you can leave them in the soil. It is up to you whether you keep the little bulbils which eventually become flowering size, but be a nuisance in the intervening years.

Don Foley 29/01/2016 at 18:16

It would be really helpful if mention was made of the actual pot size/s used in this and other videos in these otherwise excellent and informative Videos