When to Plant Gladiolus

Can you give me some tips on planting gladiolus? When’s the best time, and when do they bloom? And should I order them online or buy locally? -Beverly

The best time to plant gladioli (Gladiolus sp.) is in spring. Most varieties of gladiolus are hardy to zone 7 and can be left in the ground over the winter in those zones. In areas colder than zone 7, they should be planted in spring after your last frost date, and they’ll need to be dug up in the fall and stored with your other tender bulbs.

Technically a corm, not a bulb, gladiolus are considered tender, which means they do not require a period of cold in order to bloom (unlike bulbs, like daffodils, which must be chilled in order to bloom). They can be planted in the spring around your last frost date.

Gladioli bloom about 90 days (three months) after they sprout in spring, so the bloom time really depends on when you plant them. In warm climates, where they stay in the ground year-round, gladioli bloom anytime from late spring (deep South) to midsummer (middle South). In cooler climates you can expect blooms about three months after planting. Do successive plantings two weeks apart until June for a nonstop summer show!

As for where to buy gladioli, it’s up to you, but your local garden center may have only a limited selection, particularly if they only sell packaged bulb mixes. Ordering will give you access to the hundreds of unique varieties of gladiolus, but shipping delays may put you late in the planting season.

Either way, make sure your gladiolus corms are plump, healthy, and primed to bloom. Gladiolus corms are given a number rating based on their size (#1 is large, #6 is small). Buy no smaller than #3 corms in order to have blooms this year. Or, if you don’t have graded corms to choose from, pick corms larger than 1” in diameter.

Further Information



  1. this is my first time planting gladious they are beautiful flowers and I want to put then around my hummingbird poll and hope they attracting more hummbirds.

  2. I have always lived in a colder rainy area where I could not grow Glads. I recently moved to another town and was informed if I started my Glads indoors then moved them outside, they would do great. I started the bulbs March 5 and as of this date they are about 18″ tall. Next year I will start them inside much later. I don’t know what I will do, I still have 4 weeks before I can start hardening them off.

  3. We planted the bulbs in late March, the leaves have grown three feet tall but we have no sign of flowers. the plants are in the sun most of the day, and we water them every other day. WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG???

  4. Thank you so much for this information! I have always loved this flower and have decided to grow it again, yes I did say again! I couldn’t remember if they would bloom this year or not! I have always had the best luck with this flower. It came back for around 3 years then died off. For some reason. So I am going to replant this year since we have replaced the walkway and our home!

  5. I recently bought some glad bulbs and now I’m afraid to plant them. It is nearing mid- Aug. I live in Rogersville Al., about 3/4 of the way from Huntsville to Florence, AL Its about 10 miles to Tenn. Can you give me some advice? Like should I store them in the frig until about March or even May? ( our average last frost in mid-April and many gardener are caught flat footed with tender plants out at this point)

  6. I live in southwest Florida. I have missed the planting season for this year I believe (it is now July 25th) how should I store my gladiolus bulbs until next spring? Thanks!

  7. I bought these glad and received it yesterday I don’t know if I can plant them since I am in Zone 7 ,I know it is kind a late to plant them but I am just getting a chance I also read that they are cold hardy and if I plant now will they die this winter ? Pls help me thank you

  8. I was given old small gladiolus bulbs at a second hand store. Will I be wasting my time expecting them to flower. There is a hard bulb inside a dry leaf on some of the bulbs. The colors of these bulb are a deep burgandy and red. Just exactly what I like. Thank you.

  9. I purchased some gladiolus in Holland in April of this year but have not managed to plant them. They are now shooting. Can I plant them now? I live in Norwich, UK.

  10. I live in Zone 8 Western Washington State. I have been buying Gladiolu bulbs for the last 3 months. I have put them in a basket in my Family Room. The temp. is about 70 degrees. Is it to warm to keep them at this temp. Also, since I am in zone 8b. after they bloom should they be dug up We get some snow in the winter but it is just enough to coat the ground.?

  11. I had to dig up some glad’s that just bloom to plant something else in the bed they were in. What is the best thing to do to save the bulbs at this point? Should I pot them till winter or can I store them now?

    • Hi, Kathy,

      Gardening questions can be tricky since the rules can change based on the region. We would suggest contacting your local Master Gardeners association.
      Master gardeners train on a range of topics so they can provide advice, at no charge, for people in their area.

      Thanks for your question, and good luck!

  12. I planted myt gladiolus in April and live in zone 9, Tucson AZ. I am watering them everyday and have a drip on them. Can I keep them in the ground over the winter? Should I cover them over the winter?


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