Transplanting Gladiolus: Replanting Gladiola Bulbs

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Gorgeous ‘gladiolas’ paint bright pink and other hues in memories of my childhood. My mom still to this day grows them. Now at my own home, I take time each spring for transplanting gladiolus or planting gladiola bulbs I’ve found for sale!

My favorite glads are the pink ones and the neon coral-colored ones we grew in our 2021 gardens.

Peach Coral Gladiola - Transplanting Gladiolus bulbs in spring
My favorite Peach Coral Gladiola – Transplanting Gladiolus bulbs in spring produces stunning summer flowers!

In the fall after first frost, I dug up the gladiolus bulbs (corms?) to keep them safe indoors for the winter. (Here in PA zone 6b, our gladiolus may not survive the winter.)

In the spring, transplanting gladiolus is one of the easier tasks, in my opinion. For me, the trickiest part is deciding where to plant them!

Package of Gladiola bulbs with some growing tips
Package of Gladiola bulbs with some growing tips

When is the best time for transplanting gladiolus?

The best time to transplant gladiolus may depend on your region. If you live in a grow zone where gladiolus is winter-hardy, you can transplant in autumn after the blooms fade and the foliage starts to die back. Those further north will want to lift the bulbs instead at this time, store them indoors, and plan on transplanting gladiolus in the spring 2 weeks before the last expected frost.

For zone 6 where we live, this puts us in about the last week of April.

Soaking Gladiolus Corms in a purple bucket
Soaking Gladiolus Corms in a purple bucket

Is it gladiolus or gladiola?

Gladiolus is a plant in the genus Gladiolus, but it is also known as gladiola, the plural of which is gladioli (not gladiolas, as it turns out). The plural of gladiolus is merely gladiolus or gladioluses.

I was shocked to see the true name listed as “gladiolus.” When I was a kid, and actually, for my whole life, I’ve called them “gladiola” and “gladiolas.”

Mind = Blown!

Pink Gladiolus Transplanted from bulbs in 2021 garden
Pink Gladiolus Transplanted from bulbs in our 2021 garden

Transplanting Gladiolus in Spring

If you live in a colder zone like us, you will need to lift gladiola corms in the fall and store them.

For that reason, my tips and instructions are on transplanting gladiola bulbs that were overwintered indoors.

Follow these simple steps to learn how to transplant gladiolus in the spring.

  1. Bring your gladiolus bulbs out of storage when you’re ready to plant them.
  2. Soak gladiola corms to encourage germination. Plan to soak the bulbs before planting if possible, or for at least an hour during the same day if you are pressed for time.
    Soaking Gladiolus Corms - some growing points are visible
  3. Choose a location where you would like to move gladiolus in the garden.
    • Tip: Along a fence or wall could provide some support to keep gladiolus from falling over.
  4. Dig a hole in the garden that is about 4 times the height of the gladiola bulb.
  5. Pour water into the planting hole to moisten the soil. Do not let it pool.
    • Tip: Gladiolus bulbs grow best in well-draining soil. If you wish, you can also add better soil before planting.
  6. Place several gladiola corms in the hole with the growing tip pointing upward. Leave spacing of about 5 inches between each corm.
  7. Cover the gladiola bulbs completely with soil.
  8. Water to sufficiently wet the soil down to the bulbs.
  9. Place a plant marker to identify where you’ve planted the bulbs so you can remember to water each location as needed.
Young daughter holding two gladiola bulbs outside
My youngest daughter holding two gladiola bulbs outside in 2021

Planting & Transplanting Gladiolus Tips

Whether it’s your first time planting bulbs or part of your annual transplant ritual, replanting gladiolus is pretty straightforward.

Follow these tips to help increase the chances of a successful gladiola transplant:

  • Choose a cloudy day. If your gladiola plants have long growing points or existing foliage, a cloudy day can help limit stress on the plants.
  • Soak first. Soaking gladiolus bulbs isn’t always necessary but it can speed germination and growth. Soak corms in a tray with ¼ inch of water until the growing points emerge and begin growing.
  • Provide support. Gladiolus flowers grow tall! The beautiful, long-lasting blooms can become heavy as well. Plant near a trellis or other structure if possible to prevent gladiolus falling over.
Gladiolus corms waiting to be replanted
Gladiolus corms waiting to be replanted

Why We Love Planting Gladiola Flowers

Gladiola glowers remind me of my childhood. The long stems and showy blooms look truly impressive in tall vases.

The tropical vibes I get from these flowers makes me want to grow them all over my yard!

I know they aren’t truly tropical but they make such a great statement piece in any bouquet or indoor arrangement.

Finally, the stunning colors of hot pink, hot coral, white blended with pink, and so many others look gorgeous in the garden.

Gorgeous coral gladiolus flower in our 2021 garden
Gorgeous neon coral gladiolus flower in our 2021 garden

Do you grow glads? Feel free to share tips on replanting gladiolus or ask any questions you might have in the comments below!

Happy Gardening!

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