SEPTEMBER COMPETITION TITLE -
FRESH & FRIVOLOUS
KEVIN WEBB ADVANCED SUE MEADOWS ADVANCED
THIS MONTHS CHOICE OF OUR SOUTH AFRICAN FLOWERS
FAMILY : Iridaceae
The plants in this genus vary greatly from the small, dainty, fragrant indigenous species to the spectacular spikes of flowers which hybridists have raised from these original species.
Gladiolus is a genus of cormous perennials native to Europe and the Mediterranean regions, the Near East, and to tropical and southern Africa. Although found mainly in the winter rainfall areas, various indigenous species are found in the summer rainfall areas as well, and are all fairly easy to grow. The massive garden hybrids have more specialised requirements. Indigenous gladioli are fast growing and vary from small to very large plants. They bear flowers in all shades, often with bright contrasting markings on their petals and have a sweet fragrance. Ropes are made from the leaves and bush-pigs and other animals eat the corms and leaves. Widely used in traditional medicine to treat amongst other things, chest ailments and sterility in women.
Propagate gladioli from seed, which germinates well, or by removing offsets from the 'parent'corms. Plant them in a separate bed until they reach flowering size (about 2 years) and about 3 months before the flowering season plant out in well-composted beds (with added superphosphate or bonemeal) in large groups about 20cm apart and 10cm deep in a sunny position. Apply deep mulch and water well. After flowering the leaves will die down and can be left in place untended until the next season, or they can be lifted and stored in a dry place if preferred. A big advantage of growing indigenous glads is that they are immune to thrips which the cultivated hybrids are so susceptible to. Why grow difficult hybrids when our easy-to-grow local glads are so breathtakingly beautiful?
Use a sharp knife to cut stem ends with a diagonal or slant-cut. Place stems in a clean bucket of tepid water to which some cut flower food has been added. Give a good drink (about 4 hours) before use. Store at room temperature out of draughts. Drooping can sometimes occur at the tip of the spike and this can be obviated by nipping out the tip bud. Remove any spent blooms from the base of the flower spike as new flowers open towards the tip.
The tall straight spikes may be used in line (horizontal, diagonal, vertical, crossed), parallel, and modern mass designs, as well as indigenous and landscape arrangements. Individual flowers may be removed from the spike and wired up for use in bridal bouquets and corsages. With its many forms and colours, gladiolus is a most versatile and useful cut flower.
are not necessary as they last well in water, floral foam, or pinholders. If placing stems in clear glass, add 1 teaspoon of bleach to the water to keep it unclouded.
Kindly submitted by Tania van der Watt
2021 SOUTH AFRICAN FLOWER UNION VIRTUAL SHOW -
WHEN FLORAL BECOMES ART (CLICK HERE)
SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS (CLICK HERE)
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A BLAST FROM THE PAST (CLICK HERE)
Enjoy these memories.......