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Gladiolus - from seed


Last fall I got the idea that I wanted to grow some of the South African types of gladiolus, and found the seed on E-Bay. Than came the challenge of how to get them to sprout. There isn’t a lot that I could find on the net, so I followed some vauge guidelines. They are supposed to be winter growing, so I put them in a well draining soil, about 1/4" deep, and covered them with vermiculite. I watered them, and covered the containers with plastic wrap, and put them on the heating mat. As suggested I turned the mat off at night, and back on when I got up in the morning.
Finally, in January, nothing had happened, and I needed the space to start my daylilies. I put them outside in my shed/cold greenhouse to sink or swim. The plastic wrap was removed, and I just made sure the soil stayed moist. During the day, the temperature got up to the very low 60’s(F), and at night to the low 50’s. After a month of this, I was suprised to see the very fine, grass-like leaves coming out of the seeds and getting taller every day. I was also suprised that they all came up within 3 days.
What I now have are Gladiolus alatus, G. cardinalis, G. orchidiflorous, and G. watermeyeri. I look forward to posting some photos in a few years.

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Great news about your seeds. I look forward to the photos (If I am still here lol)

7 Mar, 2011


Nice to see someone else growing the SA species Gladiolus. I have G.watermeyeri from seed but it is very reluctant to flower. Sowed it in 2000 and no flowers yet though it will produce pips. I am going to grow it under grow lights this winter and see if that helps it to flower!

7 Mar, 2011


Fortunately my climate is a lot like South Africa - many of the bulbs like Watsonia and Babiana become overwhelming, and we have the mild winters (some are supposed to be winter-growing), so I'm hoping for success. And welcome to GOY!

7 Mar, 2011


I agree - nice to somebody else trying them. I have G.orchidflorus coming along from seed.

18 Mar, 2014

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