Producing tall spikes of soft wine funnel-shaped flowers, gladioli byzantinus look especially incredible planted amongst grasses, alliums and camassias in mixed prairie gardens. Flowering once all the spring bulbs are over, these garden favourites will provide a link to early summer flowering plants.
Gladioli byzantinus thrive planted in a full sun position in a fertile, well-drained soil - add grit or sharp sand to aid drainage. Plant them around 15 to 20 cm deep and approximatively 10 to 15 cm apart, allowing for around 30 to 50 corms per square meter. Feed every couple of weeks with high potash feed; if you garden organically, liquid seaweed is ideal as it is organic and comes from a sustainable source.
Please note that your gladioli byzantinus will need protection from strong winds and will require a good layer of organic mulch in late autumn. Their corms will also need to be lifted and divided every few years. Just pick off the bulblets and transplant! It will take them a few years to flower.
Always wear gloves when handling your corms since they can cause skin irritation. Some parts of the gladioli are poisonous and should not be eaten. They are toxic to dogs and cats.
Always unpack bulbs on arrival and store in a cool place until ready to plant.
Potentail problems, pests and diseases:
Thrips: these microscopic insects will suck the gladioli's sap, causing the leaves to fleck with white and later preventing the flower bulbs to open. As soon as you notice any signs of this, cut back all the foliage and destroy. Both organic and non organic sprays will be able to help control the attack.
Virus: this attack spreads from cucumber mosaic virus and can especially affect your corms if they are planted on an allotment.
Aphids: these insects will spread viruses and diseases.
Botrytis: thriving in cool wet weather, this fungal disease can cause grey mould to appear.