Enjoy gladiolus blooms longer with successive planting - Albuquerque Journal

Enjoy gladiolus blooms longer with successive planting

Tracey FitzgibbonQ. I planted gladiolus for the first time last year and had lots of luck with them. I wish they were/are longer lasting though. Any suggestions on how to enjoy these lovely flowers longer? – P.L., Albuquerque

A. That’s easy. You can enjoy blooming gladiolus in your garden when you employ a process I’ve learned called successive planting.

You plant some of your treasures as per usual and they get off to a good start. Mark your calendar and in two weeks time plant several more gladiolus. Two weeks later plant another round of bulbs.

As the first round comes into bloom, the second round will be aiming towards maturity. When that round blooms the third round will be getting ready. So on and so on.

You can plant successive rounds of gladiolus through the middle of August; that way you have a season-long blooming. The only concerns I see would be having plenty of bulbs stored and ready to plant, and making sure that the area you’ll be planting in gets enough sun without being cooked.

Gladiolus can handle quite a bit of sun, but offering a space that perhaps gets a break from truly intense midday heat would be best for them.

Since you grew them so successfully last year, you know the drill as far as planting and keeping them watered. As to the storing of the yet-to-be planted bulbs, you’ll want to keep them in a place that is fairly cool and dry. Find a space in an indoor closet, the bottom of the pantry or a spot in the garage that has a consistent cool temperature.

Remember, stored bulbs shouldn’t be kept in a plastic bag ever. When you purchase bulbs that are in a plastic bag, be sure to decant them into a paper bag and staple the original labeling to that bag.

I don’t know if you do any vegetable gardening, but you can do successive planting there, too. Planting veggies like peas, carrots and radishes in successive plantings will give you a longer harvest. So, get out there, purchase the gladiolus you’ll be able to plant, store them thoughtfully and enjoy yourself.

Q. You always recommend the use of potting soil, but mine never drains. What am I doing wrong? Also, I see it (potting soil) already sold containing fertilizer. What’s your take on that stuff? – S.A., Albuquerque

A. I don’t want to sound mean, but my first question to you is “Do your pots drain? Do they have drain holes? Have you put potsherds in the bottom to keep the soil in but allowing the water to drain?”

If your answers are yes to my questions, then I’d ask if the soil you’ve purchased is labeled as the water-holding type. If that’s the case, I suggest that you mix some clean sand, vermiculite or perlite into the soil to guarantee a bit more drainage.

Even “normal” potting soil could benefit from having some vermiculite, perlite or clean sand worked through it before planting. That way the soil will be less likely to cake or cement in the containers.

I also wonder if your pots sit vacant during the winter. If that’s the case, you do want to give that soil a good roughing up before you plant each year. Having sat fallow, that soil has more than likely settled, there’s not much oxygen in it having.

If the soil has been used for two or more seasons, it’s time for fresh, new soil.

You asked about prefertilized soil. To me that’s a double-edged sword. Granted, you’d supposedly not need to fertilize because it’s already in the soil, but if the normal soil is new, it probably contains all the nutrients in it your plants need for the initial planting.

It seems to me that containing too much fertilizer would encourage too fast a growth spurt. Perhaps diluting it by mixing in unadulterated potting soil would be the ticket.

But back to the “never drains” part of your concerns. I believe by working in some clean sand, perlite or vermiculite will help. Also, don’t over-water the pots. Get in the habit of sticking your finger in the soil before watering. If it’s moist, hold off watering for another six hours to see if that helps.

Happy Diggin’ In!

Tracey Fitzgibbon is a certified nurseryman. Send garden-related questions to Digging In, Albuquerque Journal, 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109, or to features@abqjournal.com.


Home » Entertainment » Arts » Enjoy gladiolus blooms longer with successive planting

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Two summer programs return to NM Museum of Natural ...
ABQnews Seeker
why not? The New Mexico Museum ... why not? The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is returning two of its popular programs — Mineral Mondays and Relaxed Nights. ...
‘We Spread’ explores what it means to grow old
ABQnews Seeker
"We Spread" is a taut novel ... "We Spread" is a taut novel packed with mysteries, starting with the title and a front cover design ...
Annual exhibit boasts layers of pastels with 'Enchanted Colors'
ABQnews Seeker
The New Mexico Pastel Society's annual ... The New Mexico Pastel Society's annual exhibition encompasses 73 works at the Millicent Rogers Museum, augmented by an additional 40 online.
Festival to put on free shows of two of ...
ABQnews Seeker
"The Comedy of Errors" and "A ... "The Comedy of Errors" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" run from June 9 through July 8 and admission is free.
No jest, Upstart Crows to perform 'King Lear'
ABQnews Seeker
"King Lear" will be performed by ... "King Lear" will be performed by two casts; a total of 28 actors. One is entirely comprised of young Shakespearian actors; the other is ...
Chatter concert to feature rare instruments
ABQnews Seeker
The American Gamelan, which became nicknamed ... The American Gamelan, which became nicknamed 'Old Granddad,' is a set of highly resonant instruments consisting of tuned metal pipes and aluminum keys.
Popejoy bringing the best of Broadway and beyond to ...
ABQnews Seeker
The 2023-2024 Broadway in New Mexico ... The 2023-2024 Broadway in New Mexico series will see the return of "Disney's The Lion King," as well as the classic "My Fair Lady," ...
One ABQ park shares its tenacity and name with ...
ABQnews Seeker
An Albuquerque park and surrounding neighborhood ... An Albuquerque park and surrounding neighborhood were named for Oklahoma native Patrick Jay Hurley, an attorney who served as secretary of war for President ...
And for your second wish ...?
ABQnews Seeker
"Aladdin" begins its seven-performance run to ... "Aladdin" begins its seven-performance run to Popejoy Hall beginning Wednesday, June 7.