8 Different Gladiolus Growing Stages

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By Bryan Peters

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Have you ever dreamt of a garden bursting with so many flower spikes? Gladiolus is one flowering plant that will reward your garden with different flowers.

But it becomes better when you know the different gladiolus growing stages. You will become less hesitant to see it grow because you know what to expect at every step.

It will take seven stages for gladiolus to reach the resting phase. Although it will mostly take gladiolus 10 to 12 weeks to bloom, it would require some effort at every step. So it can reward your efforts with enough blooms during the summer.

Let’s learn more about the various growing stages of gladiolus plants:

Fun Facts About Gladiolus

The Gladiolus plant is one of many herbaceous perennial plants known for its funnel-shaped flowers. Gladiolus is derived from the Latin word gladius, meaning little sword; hence the other name, sword lily. It produces leaves that are sword-like in shape. Many times it is referred to as xiphium too.

Gladiolus plant is native to Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean area. Amongst the numerous species of gladiolus native to Europe.

The well-known species are magenta field gladiolus. This type grows in grain fields, while the other type thrives in marshy areas, marsh gladiolus.

Gladiolus is most used by many as an arrangement of the bouquet. After all, it oozes sweet scents and produces varieties of colors with showy flowers.

Let’s look at the scientific classification of the gladiolus plant.

  • Scientific classification
  • Scientific name: gladiolus palustris
  • Other names: Xiphuim, sword lily
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: tracheophytes
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Iridaceae
  • Tribe: gladiolas
  • Genus: gladiolus

For gladiolus to grow and perform at its peak, producing flowers and scents would require some effort to transit from one stage to another until the resting phase.

See Also: Lions Mane Mushroom Growth Stages

Gladiolus Growing Stages

Stage 1: The rooting stage

Any plant survival scheme begins from rooting. The rooting system determines how well the plant will do in other stages. So the first phase requires all the attention.

The root of any plant makes way for plant growth because whatever the root is fed is what it supplies to the whole part of the plant.

So, at this stage, the root will need enough water and nutrients to enhance or encourage healthy growth and be able to effortlessly transit to another stage. It is essential that at this phase, you supply your plant with enough moisture.

Leaving your gladiolus plant in a welcoming temperature guarantees its healthy growth too. At most, gladiolus would do well in temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

First, it is not advisable to keep your plant where there is direct sunlight as this would hamper its growth or affect the foliage. For best results, you can just leave your plant where there’s enough ventilation. It would do exceptionally well.

If you take proper care of the plant, then in about 2 to 3 weeks, you will notice that the rooting phase is about to end. And once the growth stage is complete, it gives room for the next stage.

Stage 2: Proliferation (the heading stage)

Now that you successfully worked out of the initial stage, the plant has gotten to another stage– heading stage. This is also known as the foliage production stage.

The initial stage didn’t require much exposure to sunlight for it to do well. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the plant to produce flowers or foliage at this stage.

But you need to be mindful of excessive exposure to sunlight. Although exposing the gladiolus plant to excessive sunlight will not affect its growth entirely, it will only affect the production of flower heads.

This stage will take months for the plant to fully show signs of flower and foliage. However, it will still depend on how big you need your flower heads to become. Either way, you would always need to consider the size of your garden or pot if you planted in the pot.

At this point, too, you would need to fertilize your gladiolus plant regularly, but you should try not to over-fertilize. Fertilizing them too much would make the plant grow more leaves than flowers.

More so, you should, as much as possible, balance fertilizing your plant, watering it, and giving it enough light exposure; failing to do so would weaken gladiolus in the long run.

Stage 3: Flowering stage

Well, your gladiolus plant is now showing signs of growth. The joy of your plant producing ranges of flowers gives you some energy and enthusiasm to give more attention.

It will take about two months for your plant to flower after the heading stage.

Now, you would have to give your plant the proper sunlight exposure. Giving the plant full sun will help it have enough energy to flower. You should water the plant more often at this stage too.

Once you notice the flower heads are out, you can double the watering and fertilizing process. Another condition that will help grow the plant is allowing it to be in a warm area. A temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect for encouraging flowering.

If you succeed in this stage, you will witness the growth of tiny leaves. You must quit fertilizing at this stage as this can affect the flower colors.

Stage 4: Flower development stretch

Your plant has gotten to the stage of development, which is a critical period for your plant. The flowers in your plant can last for about 2 to 3 months. However, this depends on how long you want your flowers to survive.

You would have to give the plant a chance to stretch and avoid exposing it to excessive heat and sunlight. This is the perfect time to water the plant more.

Nonetheless, be careful not to overwater your plant as this would result in soggy soil and, in the long run, cause fungal diseases or, even at worst, invite pests, overwatering causes root rot too. So, be careful not to go overboard at this stage.

Stage 5: flowering – bud formation

You should expect that in this stage, your plant should begin to form buds. You would have to leave the plant at a cool temperature; however, avoid moisture, as this might affect it.

The previous stage requires watering. However, you will need to avoid watering, fertilizing, and exposing to sunlight at this stage.

Stage 6: flowering- flower development

This is a stage where your plant will reward your effort with flowers. For more bud formation and good coloring, you should try to minimize the watering and fertilizing rate and place the plant in a dark area.

Look out for insects, as your plant is susceptible to attacks at this stage. Remove any affected areas. Otherwise, it will result in total bud failure.

Step 7: flower development – deadheading

You should remove your spent blooms to allow your gladiolus to start producing new flowers. This, in turn, will encourage flowering during the summer.

This is the process of removing spent blooms before they change to brown. For best results, remove the spent flowers in mid-morning when the flowers are tender but still open.

You need to wear a cloak of patience, so you do not end up hampering your plant’s growth.

Step 8: Rejuvenation

This is the last gladiolus growing stage. At this point, the plant is preparing for another bloom.

By this time, the plant has successfully gone through the production process. Check out the spent blooms and get rid of them before they dry up. This will prevent pests from being attracted to the plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you take care of gladiolus plants? 

Leaving the gladiolus plant in the proper condition allows it to grow and bloom in no time. Every plant deserves proper lighting and adequate watering. For growth, plants require some fertilizers, and gladiolus is no exception. These are ways you can care for gladiolus to get the optimal result.

What are the Growing Stages of Gladiolus Plants?

Gladiolus must pass through stages from the planting to the rest phase. This makes it easier to track the progress of the plant and what you must do for the plant to maintain healthy growth.

How long does gladiolus take to bloom? 

It would take about 90 days for the plant to bloom after planting. You just have to give it every attention it needs to bloom.

How much sun does gladiolus need? 

Gladiolus needs full sun. However, it will depend on the stage of the plant’s growth. Exposing the plant to direct sun at an early stage is not advisable.

How much watering does the plant need? 

For best results, water your plant moderately to avoid overwatering or underwatering, as both can hinder plant growth.

Do pests attack gladiolus? 

Of course, gladiolus is always susceptible to pest attacks. However, some conditions may worsen it. Overwatering your plant will attract pests and other insects to the plant.

Most of these pests are likely to thrive in moist environments. What is the pest you should look out for? Look out for caterpillars, aphids, bulb mites, mealy bugs other sap-sucking pests.


All plants and flowers go through growth stages, and this growth stage helps the gardener or potential plant owner know what to expect at every stage; this can only get better as it rewards your plants with healthy growth.

Please don’t hesitate to refer to this guide to learn about the gladiolus growth stages anytime you encounter any trouble. Always remember to play safe by leaving your plant in the best condition.

We hope your plant rewards your effort with endless blooms in the summer.