Our gardens give us a chance to create a varied and beautiful display of nature’s best colors, and the options of what to plant may seem endless. One can choose between all kinds of garden styles and species. If you love bright, valiant flowers, the gladiolus could be a flower for your Maryland garden. This August, we shall focus on the gladiolus, its background, and its practical care.
Gladiolus Flower of the Year 2022
Each month has two flowers designated to it; everyone has a birth month flower. If you were born in August, the gladiolus and the poppy are your birth month flowers. It just so happens that this year, 2022, is also the year of the gladiolus. Gladiolus is the flower of the year as declared by the National Gardening Bureau. It is all the more reason to celebrate this fascinating plant!
Gladiolus Flower Meaning and History
The gladiolus flower is a large-flowering, herbaceous perennial that grows from a corm, a type of bulbous root system from which cormlets grow. It is part of the Iridaceae family and looks similar to the hollyhock, foxglove, and delphinium.
Its narrow, sword-like leaves are probably what gave it the name gladiolus. In ancient Rome, a gladiolus was a small sword. Other traditional names for it are sword-lily and corn-flag, as it may have been a pest in European cornfields. The gladiolus originates from Europe, the Mediterranean, and southern Africa and even appears in Greek mythology and 16th century English writings.
The symbolism of the gladiolus is strength of character, integrity, and persistence.
Gladiolus Planting and Care
Gladioli, or glads, prefer full sun and well-draining, moderately fertile soil. Planting season is early spring through early summer. Maryland, located in Zone 7, is the middle ground for ideal gladioli growing conditions. In warmer zones, the gladiolus corm can stay in the ground year-round, but if hard frosts are common, you will want to preserve the corms indoors during the winter.
When planting, space each corm 6-8 inches apart, 4 inches deep in well-tilled soil. As a garden plant, you can cluster seven or more together, but as a cut flower plant, you can best manage them in rows. Water them thoroughly at planting and throughout the season as needed. Once the stalks wither, cut the flowers down 2-3 inches above the soil.
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