Soil and Climate
Gladiolus can be grown in a wide range of soil varying from light sandy to clay loam soils. The pH should be in the range of 5.5-6.5. Gladiolus requires a cool-climate and optimum temperature is 20-25˚C.
Gladiolus is planted in ridges and furrows system of planting with varying distance of 30 cm x 20 cm, 30 cm x 15 cm and 20 cm x 10 cm between plants and rows depending on the size of corm. Staggered planting of corms facilitate continuous supply of spikes.
The soil should have sufficient moisture at the time of planting so that no watering is required till sprouting. The frequency of irrigation can be done once or twice a week. After harvest of flowers, watering should be reduced.
Half dose of potash and phosphorus are applied at the time of land preparation as basal dose. Remaining half is top-dressed at 3 and 6-leaf stage the crop. Nitrogen fertilizer is applied in split doses at 3 and 6 leaf stage to get quality flowering. In case of corm production, another application is done after harvesting flowers.
After 45 days of planting or when crop is at 3-4 leaf stage, earthing up is done to provide support to crop and to prevent exposure of corms. Second earthing up is done one month after 1st earthing up or at 6 leaf stage.
Harvesting of flowers and corms
Spikes are harvested when lowermost 2-3 florets on spike show colour, leaving at least 4 leaves on the pant for proper development of corm and cormels. The cut spikes should be immediately put in water and kept in cold room. The corms are lifted after maturity (6 to 8 weeks after flowering). It takes nearly one and half to two months after flowering for the corms to attain maturity. Treat the corms and cormels with the fungicide before storage.
The spike and corm yield in gladiolus vary depending on the cultivar, corm size, planting density and management practices. Gladiolus produces on an average 1.25 to 2 lakh spikes, 1.5 to 2.25 lakhs corms per hectare.