How to plant gladiolus bulbs for bright and beautiful summer blooms

Everything you need to know about planting gladiolus bulbs to have vibrant flowering plants this summer

Blooming gladioli
(Image credit: Getty Images/Jacky Parker Photography)

Gladioli are known as flowers with big, bold and vibrant blooms. And if that’s something you want to inject into your own garden, then knowing how to plant gladiolus bulbs properly is of the utmost importance to achieve success and fill your outdoor space with their flowers come summer.

Gladiolus bulbs are some of the best bulbs to plant in spring so that they start flowering once it gets to summertime and you want to spend more time in the garden, relaxing and admiring your gladioli.

So without further ado, this is the expert-approved guide to planting gladiolus bulbs.

Gladiolus

(Image credit: Getty Images/Bill Koplitz)

How to plant gladiolus bulbs

How to plant bulbs properly and effectively can feel daunting. But not when gardening pros take the guesswork out of it. Once it’s said and done, it’s actually a super easy process.

But there are some tools and other essentials you’ll need to complete this gardening job.

What you’ll need:

Blooming gladioli

(Image credit: Getty Images/Westend61)

Choose the right spot

Start by choosing the right spot in the garden. Unless, of course, you’re planting them in pots first, which you can do too, depending on what month you’re choosing for planting.

‘Choose a sunny, bright location that has well draining soil,’ says Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench.

Steve Chilton portrait
Steve Chilton

Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field. As the director of LeisureBench, an industry-leading garden furniture company, Steve has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants. 

Prepare the soil

‘To prepare your garden, loosen the soil using a garden fork or tiller,’ says Petar Ivanov, Fantastic Gardeners' gardening expert. ‘Mix a layer of compost or aged manure into the soil after it has been loosened. Make sure the soil is firmly pressed down into the hole.’

Doing this will aid in drainage and will provide nutrition.

Plant the bulbs

‘Plant the corms (bulbs) at around 15 centimetres deep in the soil, and around 15 centimetres apart from one another if you're planting them in the ground. If you're planting them in a container, then you can plant them a bit closer together,’ Steve explains.

Finally, finish off by watering them well.

Gladiolus

(Image credit: Getty Images/Jacky Parker Photography)
Petar Ivanov portrait
Petar Ivanov

Petar Ivanov is one of the company's top-performing experts and manages over six teams of gardeners, delivering stunning landscape results and fostering a deep connection with nature through his work.

FAQs

What is the best month to plant gladiolus?

If you’re wondering when to plant these summer bulbs, then this is what the experts recommend.

‘Gladiolus bulbs can be planted in pots already in March but you'll need to keep them in a place protected from frost, such as a greenhouse. If you want to plant them directly into the ground, wait until May,’ Petar says.

Should I soak gladiolus bulbs before planting?

‘You don't have to soak Gladioli bulbs before planting, however it is often suggested as it can help speed up the growth process. Just soak the bulbs overnight and it can help speed up the time it takes for the roots to develop, as well as help to soften any dried out bulbs that could be damaged,’ Steve advises.

Bulbs planted in terracotta pots

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How deep to plant gladiolus bulbs?

When planting gladiolus bulbs, a 15-centimetre depth is best. But definitely, no less that 10 centimetres.

‘Generally, you need to plant them around 15 centimetres deep. A little less is also fine, but planting them this deep means that they have more stability in the ground,’ Steve explains.

And in about 12-weeks time, you can look forward to those beautiful blooms adorning your garden. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Sara Hesikova
News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.