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Gardening: All About Gladiolus Flower Bulbs

Though these are referred to as bulbs, they are not actually bulbs at all. The term comes from it's botanical categorization. Gladioli actually comes from corms, which do look similar to bulbs. They are short, and have a rounded section at the stem. This stem emerges near the plant bottom. They are hard, and are covered by dry husks. These husks are actually old leaves.

The corms house the buds that support each leaf layer. The flowers will them come from these corms. Gladiolus flower bulbs are found nearly worldwide. There are several varieties now, where there once were online African and Mediterranean types.

Today, we have nearly 8,000 varieties in existence. This number continues to grow, as new varieties are introduced each year. The newer versions of Gladiolus flower bulbs much more resemble traditional bulb type flowers than older versions.

There are also size variations. Small, medium, and large sizes are all available. Small versions have a diameter of less than one inch. There is a chance that small versions may not actually bloom. Therefore it is important to know this when shopping. Larger sizes should produce nice blooms. Always choose disease free bulbs no matter what size you choose.

Gladiolus flower bulbs should be planted in the spring. In light soil, they should be planted six inches deep. In heavier soil, four inches deep. The bulbs should not be covered in soil until the sun has worked it's magic, and new growth is apparent. Once this happens, the bulbs should be completely covered. Always allow space in between each plant. For larger sizes, this distance should be seven inches.

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