Gladioli colvillei 'The Bride' produce shorter, more slender spikes of delicate funnel-shaped flowers than their larger cousins. Perfect for the middle-front of your garden border or for planting in pots, these garden favourites will be the first of the gladioli species to bloom and will provide you with an excellent source of cut flowers.
Gladioli colvillei 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 colvillei 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.