From My Garden to Yours
March 07, 2021

Planting Gladiolus Along a Picket Fence

This past year I’ve worked on perfecting my gladiolus game. I planted along a little picket fence (sold in rolls at Lowe’s). When digging in, I add a layer of Kellogg’s organic soil, some bulb fertilizer, then a little soil over that (so that bulb doesn’t touch the fertilizer), a bamboo skewer to mark location, throw in the corm and cover with more Kellogg’s organic soil (for some extra nutrients and it’s full of bark fines, so nicely insulating).

Since Gladiolus fall over so easily, I plant the bulbs along the pickets. Then I can clip the stems to the wire and with some that are really top heavy, I’ve clipped them at both top and bottom wires.

Plant locks
Gladiola attached with plant lock

In my zone (9b), it’s not necessary to dig up the bulbs at the end of the season. But I have several that made a lot of baby cormlets, so this fall I dug up all my old gladiolus and divided them. I placed the cormlets in their own raised bed as a nursery and I’ll keep them there until they get big enough to transplant to the garden.

After dividing, I replanted all the cormlets along a fresh stretch of picket fencing. We used an auger attached to a drill for quickly digging holes because we put in dozens of corms. This dramatically speeds up the planting process.

Read more about growing and planting Gladiolus

Some Beauties from Last Summer

11 Thoughts

  1. Becky on March 7, 2021

    I’m so glad I found your site! I’m a zone 9B newbie gardener who’s been really struggling because it seems like the advice on the internet doesn’t really apply to our summers. Thank you! You’ve got a new dedicated fan.

    • gardening-for-purple on May 6, 2021

      Thanks Becky! 🙂

  2. Sharon Richardson on April 5, 2021

    Great idea and beautiful glads.

    • gardening-for-purple on May 6, 2021

      Thanks Sharon!

  3. jo4hiller on June 11, 2021

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing! I love gladioli but I never really had great success with them so I just stopped buying corms. They’re not hardy here (we have zone 2). Here we plant them as we do with dahlias – start in a greenhouse or inside the house so it’s also a problem of space. Then I had problems with storing the corms (they got mold and some dried out)? Maybe I’ll give it a try again next season. ?❤️

    • gardening-for-purple on July 6, 2021

      I hope you’ll give them another try! 🙂

  4. Jennifer on June 12, 2021

    So they self seed or the bulbs grow to split… my first time with them. Definitely getting the little fence, I was wondering how yours were so upright, lol.

    • gardening-for-purple on July 6, 2021

      If you let the stalks go to seed, yes, they will self seed and you’ll have lots of little babies in the area. The little fence is a huge help to keep them upright. 🙂

  5. Wendy on June 21, 2021

    Hello! I bought some gladiolus bulbs two years ago and planted them right away. The stems grow very tall and eventually fall over after a while. They have never bloomed within the two years I have had them. What am I doing wrong. I was glad to see that they returned this year, but I am sad because they are not blooming.

    • gardening-for-purple on July 6, 2021

      Hi Wendy, are the bulbs in full sun? A lot of bulb/corm/rhizomes will grow in the shade, but they won’t bloom. They like full sun which is at least 6 hours of direct sun exposure. Also, they like some nutrients. When digging the hole, I make it a little deeper to add bulb fertilizer, then a little soil over that, then the corm itself. I hope that helps. 🙂

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