Gladiolus (Gladiolus), the sword flower or sword, has a remarkable shape of leaves and flowers, making it very easy to recognize it. According to the legend, gladioli grew out of the swords of the Thracian warriors captured by the Romans and conquered all with their beauty. This crop is grown in open field and needs proper, regular care. About the features of the plant, the popular varieties of flowers gladioli and cultivation will be discussed later in the article.
Biological description of gladiolus
Description of gladiolus
Gladioli are perennial, bulbotuned cultures of the Iris family. Translated from the Latin "gladius" means "sword". This name was given to the plant, because its leaves resemble swords in shape.
Corm culture rounded, renewed every year. It is shrouded in scales, the color of which can be from white to maroon. Stems are straight, they are very strong, single, leafy, 50-150 cm tall, depending on the species. The leaves are thin, sword-shaped, 50-80 cm long, blue-green in color. The base of the leaves connects around the stem, adding density to it.
Gladiolus flowers are collected in a spiral, spike-shaped, bilateral or unilateral inflorescence up to 80 cm. The inflorescence is not tight, usually of medium density. Flowers "sit" on the stem. The perianth is funnel-shaped, consists of 6 equal parts, which are connected by a base. Flowers come in different shapes and sizes. A fruit - a box with 3 shutters. Inside there are many round or oval-shaped seeds, brown in color.
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Types of Gladiolus
There are more than 5,000 varieties of gladioli, which speaks of their immense popularity, both in the scientific world and among gardeners. Below are the most beautiful and spectacular varieties.
- "Byzantine"gladiolus grows up to 60 cm tall. Flowers up to 6 cm in diameter, carmine-red in color with a white line along the central vein. Inflorescence is unilateral with 5-10 flowers. Leaves are xiphoid, up to 3 pieces, 35 cm long. The corm width is 1, 8-2 cm
- "Malika"- pink variety of gladiolus, with rich, crimson-pink, corrugated flowers. On the lower petal there is a crimson-red, velvet spot, at the edges of the petals the color becomes more saturated. The stem is high (60 cm), the leaves grow up to 30 cm. Active reproduction Spike durable, recommended for bouquets.
- "Kochi"- gladiolus, growing up to 65 cm in height. Flowers 4-8 pieces, grow on a twisted and short inflorescence. Color dark purple-violet. Leaflets 3-4 pieces, thin, up to 30 cm. Cormula 2-2.5 wide cm.
- "Moscow white stone"- an amazing variety, the stalk of which is literally covered with snow-white large flowers with blue tucks in the neck. Wax petals, terry type. At the same time, 9 flowers bloom on the stem. Reproduction is satisfactory, not very active.
- "Gladiolus tiled"gives a stem up to 80 cm high. Flowers from 3 to 14 pieces in one-sided maturation. The color is purple-red. 2-3 leaves, have a weak venation, up to 30 cm long. Corms of a width of 2 cm.
How do gladioli reproduce?
Flowers of gladioli are propagated vegetatively - tubers and baby. In rare cases, as a rule, seeds are used to breed new varieties. Corms are always sorted by size: 3-7 cm; 2-3 cm; 1-2 cm. For breeding 3-5–5 cm bulbs are considered the best option. They are not very large, but not small, and therefore can give healthy and strong “offspring”. But those that are more than 5 cm give usually weak plants that almost do not bloom and give a little kids.
- Children gather when digging bulbs for winter storage. They themselves are separated from the bulbs and at the same time are more adapted to the growing conditions of the plant.
- The division of the bulbs is used for old corms, on which spring formed 2 buds. To do this, a clean knife, washed in a solution of potassium permanganate, is a neat cut of the bulb into two equal parts. A cut is made between the kidneys and immediately after that the onion (cut) must be processed with crushed charcoal. Planting such half heads is no different from planting a whole onion. Yes, and the good of them no less, they give large flowers, beautiful.
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Cultivation of gladiolus is not a big deal if everything is done gradually and correctly. The place for landing needs light, sunny. Earth is better to choose loamy or sandy with neutral acidity. Site preparation for planting is carried out in the fall. They dig it up, make organic fertilizers (10 kg of humus or compost per square meter and up to a kilogram of wood ash).Important! At one place, gladioli can grow up to 2 years, and then the place for their cultivation needs to be changed.
Corms also need to be prepared, otherwise they will not give good growth. 3-4 weeks before planting, it is necessary to clean them from the upper husk, check for the presence of disease. If there is a small affected area on the bulb, it is simply cut out with a sharp knife and the cut is treated with an antiseptic. If the damage is significant, then the bulb should be thrown away.
In order for the bulbs to start growing faster, they are laid out on a windowsill, where the temperature reaches +25 degrees. After about 25-30 days, when tubercles appear on the corms, they can be used for planting. But before carrying out this procedure, it is worth treating them with a light pink solution of potassium permanganate.
Planting gladiolus in open ground
Planting of gladiolus is carried out in April or May, when the earth warms up, and the temperature at 10 cm deep into the soil will be at least +8 degrees Celsius. Weeds are made for planting in prepared soil (fertilized, loosened). The size of the hole should be 2.5 to 3 times the size of the bulb. As for the depth of planting, it depends on the size of the bulb.
- Those tubers that are more than 3 cm in diameter are planted 5-10 cm deep.
- Bulbs up to 3 cm need a depth of 4-7 cm.
- Small onions, within 1 cm, put on 3-5 cm.
Between tubers leave a distance of 15-20 cm for the growth and development of the plant. There is also a similar distance between the rows. After the planting is done, the holes are covered with earth and covered with a layer of peat on top so that the soil does not dry out quickly, because watering before germination is undesirable.
How to care for Gladiolus at home?
The first shoots, if planted properly, appear in 12-18 days. At this time, you need to start caring for the plants to develop well. Initially it is necessary to loosen the ground, remove the weeds. The first watering is carried out when gladioli grows by 10 cm. Up to 10 liters of water is poured into each plant during this period, since the moisture must reach a depth of 25 cm or more.Important! Frequent and shallow watering for gladioli is very harmful. Plants do not really get moisture, but the root part begins to rot.
Top dressings bring in depending on a phase of development of a plant.
- The first nitrogen supplement is done when the second leaf appears.
- The second - during the development of 4 leaves.
- When the 5th leaf is noticeable, you need to feed the plant again with nitrogen mixtures.
- Phosphate fertilizer is needed in June, when buds begin to appear.
- The last dressing is done in September - potash-phosphoric, in order to reinforce the culture - it must restore the strength of the bulb after flowering.
For dressings, you can use a solution of chicken manure, mullein, potassium sulphate, superphosphate or any other fertilizers that are suitable for flower plants.
If the stem of the gladiolus is too tall, do not interfere with the garter. This will provide additional backup and reduce the risk of damaging the flowers. For grown gladiolus, home care consists of loosening the soil, removing weeds and timely watering.Interesting! When cutting flowers, it is better not to touch the lower leaves, so that the onions continue to receive nutrients.
When in the fall, the tops of the gladioli begin to turn yellow, this is a sign that it is necessary to dig out onions. When digging, it is advisable to mark varieties so as not to be confused in the spring. After digging up the corms, lay for 2-3 days, then the stems are cut to 3 cm, and the onions are placed in storage. The storage location is dry and cool. The bulbs themselves should be in gauze, pouch or open box.
How to deal with diseases and pests?
Gladioli are beautiful flowers that are also susceptible to diseases and pests, like any other plants, even if proper care is taken at home.
- Root onion mite colonizes the larvae in the onion, which leads to complete drying of the gladiolus. The soil itself is also infected, and therefore there is a high risk of damage to neighboring plants. It is advisable to immediately burn the affected plant together with all plant residues collected from the site where the pest has been observed. To disinfect and prevent bulbs from this pest, it is necessary to subject them to heat treatment (“bathing” 5 minutes in water 50 degrees) or spray it with “Karbofos”.
- Dry and yellow leaves talk about the defeat of the fungus. Such corms should be destroyed. To prevent the disease from returning, for the prevention of corms are stored in ventilated places, and during the growing season, the plants are fed with magnesium.
- Trips is a well-known pest sucking culture juices. To save the bulbs from it can be cut or disinfected early by immersion in hot water (50 degrees for 5 minutes). Thrips are distilled off such plants as calendula and garlic, planted close.
- Dry rot leads to the slow death of the plant. The affected bulbs, during storage (if the disease is not immediately noticed) are mummified. Losses in case of a spore can be up to 50%, so any affected onion need to be removed, and the soil is dug up in the fall with a full turn of the reservoir, so that in winter frost the disease was destroyed naturally. The onions themselves are disinfected by planting in horse manure, and only after germination can they be transplanted to the usual place.
Gladioli grow always abundantly and colorfully, delighting the gardener's eye. Taking care of them at home is not difficult, the main thing is to remember some rules and follow them year after year, then there will never be any problems with growing.