Package of Practices for Growing Gladiolus
Botanical Name: Gladiolus tristis
Family : Iridaceae
Soil and Climate:
Weil drained fertile loamy soil is preferred for Gladiolus cultivation. Water logged, heavy sticky soil will result in decaying of corms as well as delay in growth of plants.
Site selected for gladiolus planting should have a sunny situation protected from stormy winds, by wind breaks or hedge. It produces bigger size flowers in areas with moderate humidity.
Gladiolus is propagated by corms of at least 4-5 cm diameter. It should be healthy and disease free. Conical shaped corms preferred over flat one as it gives better flowers.
Gladiolus corms which are healthy, disease free with diameter of 4 to 5 cm are selected and planted at the spacing of 20 x 20 cm or 20 x 30 cm on ridges and furrows during September. Shallow planting of conns i.e. at the depth of 5 to 10 cm is essential. Deep planting will result into poor production of cormels and also cause decaying of corms i.e.
Size of corm
4.5 cm diameter
20 x 30 cm
5-10 cm depth
A corm weighing 20-30 gm is usually preferred for plantation thus 1 kg = 50 corms – 1,60,000 corms per ha or 3200 kg per ha.
FYM is mixed thoroughly in the soil while preparing in the field for planting corms OR 20 tonnes of FYM 100 kg N + 50 kg P2Oj * 50 kg K20 applied for one ha.
FYM – P205 + K20 is added at the time of preparation of field while nitrogen is given in 2 splits doses i.e. first dose at 4-6 leaf stage and second at earthing up stage i.e. 6-8 weeks after planting.
A gladiolus crop must not be allowed to suffer from water stress especially when spiles are emerging. Regular irrigation at the intervals of 7 to 10 days depending upon weather is necessary. Over watering should be avoided.
Earthing up is essential after 6-8 weeks of planting corms, or before the emergence of spike. But if planted as ridges such operation will not be necessary.
These plants need staking for its satisfactory growth, if not staked may fall or break by high wind velocity when plant will attend the height of 25 cm staking is done.
Curing of Spike (Harvesting):
Early flowering varieties starts flowering within 80 – 90 days, while late varieties starts flowering within 100-145 days after planting. That means September planted corms will start flowering during November – December (January).
The flower spike should be cut as close to the base as possible with sharp knife or scissor leaving 4 to 6 leaves on plant after the first floret on the spike has opened. Later on the other flower buds i.e. florets on the same spike will open in sequence slowly starting from below and continuing upward when placed in water.
For internal market, they are cut when 1-2 lower most florets on the spike have opened and for external market when the colour has fully developed in mature unopened buds.
Immediately after cutting, the spike should be immersed (upto 15 cm from base) in a bucket containing water. Vase life of cut flowers can be extended if cut flowers are kept in 300 to 600 ppm solution of 8 – HQC (Hydroxy Quinolin Citrate) + 4 % Sucrose
Packaging of Flowers:
Cut flowers should be packed in a card board boxes made for this purpose. Generally card board boxes measuring 110 cm x 250 cm x 10 cm are used.
Harvesting and Storage of Corms:
After harvesting of flowers or spike the plants with leaves are allowed to remain in the soil and irrigation is withheld (stopped). After drying of leaves (i.e. 3-4 weeks) the corms and com lets are-takenout. The corms such dig out are allowed to dry in a open and airy situation for a week. Then after cutting its leaves they are treated with 0.2 % Bavistin for 30 minutes and stored in cold storage or Airy room.
Pests and Diseases:
Thrips and Aphids – Spray 0.2 % Malathion
Fusarium wilt – Spray 0.2 % Bavistin
Yield: 2-3 lakh spikes per ha, 20,000 kg corms per ha.