Basic information about Gladiolus (Sword Lily) flower and it’s production technology
Scientific Name: Gladiolus Italicus
Species: Gladiolus communis L.
Origin: Mediterranean reign, Tropical South Asia
Introduction: Gladiolus derived from the Latin word “Gladius” which mean sword. Its common name is Sword lily. Gladiolus is a perianal flowering plant.it is most cultivated flower in Pakistan for the cut flower production mostly use in decorations.
Production of Gladiolus:
In Pakistan gladiolus sown on ridges. It is produced from blubbing which also produced small corm let which are uses for next year plantation. There are many different sizes of corm are found in the market. “8” inch is the standard length of the corm while its diameter is different 7, 8, 9, and 10. 8 by 8 or 8 by 9 are best for planting. The bulb is storage organ of this plant and had food reserves which help the plant to grow that’s why its size matter. 50,000 to 60,000 corm can be sown in 1 acre. Gladiolus required full sun. Best planting time of corm is spring because the soil is warm and frost is not present.
Soil: Gladiolus prefer well-drained sandy loam soil. If the soil is heavy or retains water for a long time it is not good for the sowing of gladiolus because standing water cause rots in corms. If you want to grow gladiolus in the clayey soil you have to prepare raised bed and need to loosen the soil to 11 to 12 inch. For gladiolus sowing, optimal soil PH should be 6.0 to 6.5 and soil temperature should be 102 oF.
Planting: Gladiolus sown on beds and ridges in September and November. Plant to Plant distance should be 6 to 8 inch. We avoid to grow it at once because of its market fluctuation we sow the corms with 15 days interval. It took two weeks to emerge in September and two and a half in November. The depth of planting should be according to its size it always twice of its size. You can simply sow the plant at 3 to 6-inch depth or while sowing your finger and knuckle should go inside the soil. Crop life span Is 900 to 120 days.
Fertilizer: For good production of gladiolus certain amount of nutrient and fertilizer amount is required nutrients are Nitrogen 120 kg per ha P2O5 150 kg per ha K2O 150.
Irrigation: Gladiolus very sensitive to waterlogging and drought light irrigation is required to irrigate after sowing and according to your soil moisture and filed condition generally 7 days interval is practised. The 2 and 5 leaf stage are critical for the plant. Before 4 to 5 week of harvest irrigation should be stopped.
Mulching: Mulching conserves the soil moisture. The mulching practice is done at the base of the plant. Decomposed able material should be used for mulching like wheat straw and hay.
Pruning: it is not necessary to prune the plant but if a corm is producing more than one spike then prune the other one.
Intercultural practices: Weeding is necessary for a good plant stand and if you are growing long stalk verity you have to avoid logging we practised staking when the plant attains 20 cm height earthen up to 15 cm. Earthing up also avoid weed growth.
Pest: Thrips and aphids are common pests of this crop.
Disease: Leaf spot bacterial scab blight and spots of spongy rots are attacked basically.
Control: Take precautions and irradiate weeds to avoid vector entrance. On the appearance of any significant disease or pest contact with horticulture department.
Verities: There are mainly two verities depended on flower size small and big.
Big Flowered verities: George maize, Partica, Melody, Royal, Friendship etc
Small Flowered verities: Red canna, Canberra, Butterfly, Royal jubilee.
Harvesting: Gladiolus are usually taking 90-120 days to producing spike. It is not harvested completely and 4 to 5 leaf at its base left behind for the proper growth of corm.
Yield: it’s depended upon the number of corms planted.
Marketing: There are different prices in the market at a different time to fetch the market after first sowing we put the 15 days interval to second sowing so our produce ready to harvest at different time period so we can minimize the market fluctuation. Flower sell in different packing like cardboard packing. It is available at a different floral shop.