Why are My Gladiolus Not Blooming

Why are My Gladiolus Not Blooming

Humans are strangely attracted to aesthetically pleasing sites. Be it natural scenery or artificial, which includes buildings, or modern and old architecture, and even artificially developed nature. It doesn’t matter if the scenery is physically useful to them or not. Basically, it should please our eyes. For this simple pleasure, humans have gone to different lengths, which include investing their time, money, and hard labor into the building and developing such things. One such example of this is our dedication towards plants which give us fruits and flowers. Plant lovers or those who love nature give their special attention to plants with flowers and fruits. They, in fact, start creating their own mini garden or maybe a full-sized garden. 

One plant which is quite famous among plant lovers for its beautiful flowers is Gladiolus. More than 200 species of the gladiolus genus can be found all over the world. There are hybrid types as well. They can be easily grown from a corm. A corm is an underground stem that is thick and stores food. 

Now, as it is the spring season, the gladiolus plant owners are very excited for the flowers to bloom. They take care of the plants all year round, and now they want what they have been waiting for, the pretty flowers. It is true this plant is easy to grow and to take care of. Still, many ask the question, “why are my gladiolus not blooming.” Here we will answer why this might be happening. 

Reasons of Gladiolus Not Blooming

First of all, don’t worry, some plants take a longer time than ordinary to bloom. And if your plant does have a problem, it won’t be very severe. The following could be the answers to your question; why are my gladiolus not blooming:   

Location of Pot 

If you are an old plant owner, you know how important this is. But those who are new, please note the location of your gladiolus plant is extremely important. Every plant needs certain conditions to grow. Sometimes it grows in conditions and locations not suitable to it, but then it won’t be flowering. The same case happens with gladiolus. It is possible that the corm you planted was frozen. This makes the corm mushy and then rot. It is also possible that you planted the gladiolus at a location with excess water. Other than that, if your plant is in the shade by other plants, then it won’t bloom as gladiolus need complete sunlight in order to bloom. Recultivating the soil of your plant annually will help in decreasing the chances of overcrowding of roots and increase the chances of your gladiolus blooming. 


The gladiolus plants are best suited for warm weather. They will flourish the most in summer and give you the prettiest flowers. However, this means that their watering needs to be constant and proper. As a plant of summer, they tend to soak up the water and need to be watered immediately. It is estimated that these plants need 1inch water/week. Watering needs to be kept in check, especially during dry weather. If the soil of this plant is left to be dry for long, it will stop blooming. So, to avoid such scenarios, keep in check the water situation of your plant. 

Bulb Sizes 

The bulb size of gladiolus plants is very likely to influence the flowering in the plant. Why? Because a small bulb is not fully developed so that when it is planted, it takes the energy and nutrients to develop itself first. In the very first year of a small immature bulb, it gives foliage without flowers and grows itself up to a suitable size. Then in the next year, it starts giving flowers. That is why if you want flowers to bloom in your gladiolus plant, make sure the bulb you plant is mature and enough in size. This way, it will give the energy into growing the plant with flowers rather than growth itself. 

Quantity and Type of Fertilizers

Every plant requires certain types of nutrients to grow up to its full potential. It is not a sane decision to let a plant grow completely on its own and then expect it to bloom as well. Just like other living beings, it has certain nutritional needs as well. In the case of gladiolus, annual fertilization is best for them. However, make sure not to use a fertilizer that has a high content of nitrogen. This nitrogen will only help grow the foliage and not flowers so, if your plant is not flowering, try feeding it high content phosphorus fertilizer or bone meal. 

Depth while Planting 

Little things as such matter a lot into making your plant what it is. Carelessness about this step can lead the plant to not blooming at all and depriving you of its beauty. It should be planted between the depth of 6-8 inches. At this depth, it will be most secure and most likely to bloom. Why? Because this depth is observed to keep the plant secure from frosting or cold. And once it’s secure from frosting or cold, the plant will grow and bloom without any hurdle. Keep in mind cold is an enemy of gladiolus plants. 

In fact, if they are planted deeper than 8 inches, then they will not bloom as well. Now, why is that? Because in this case, the bulb takes too much energy to come out of the soil. As the energy is lost in coming out of the soil, less energy is then transferred into the blooming of floors. The plant will also be coming out late this way and might as well miss its season, that is, summer, to grow and bloom. There is also a chance that the bulb will rot that deep into the soil. 

Less Space while Planting 

This problem is common with other plants as well. In the case of gladiolus, too, it is not at all preferred to plant the bulbs close to each other. Why? Because each plant has its own needs, and when it starts to compete with another plant, it won’t put its potential in the right place. Placing them too close to each other will divide their nutrients, soil, water, and other essentials to less than what is required by them. So, this type of planting will not only affect the blooming but plant as well. That is why, when planting bulbs, give them enough space to grow and flourish. 

Poor Draining 

Gladiolus are plants originating from the Mediterranian regions. This means they are used to such soil which has proper draining and doesn’t retain a lot of water. You will not see the gladiolus plant growing into clay soil or soil which is damp all the time. Even if it does grow, there won’t be any flowers. The soils which take comparatively more time to drain will more likely damage the plant through a fungal disease or rot. Gladiolus plants are best suited for soils that are similar to their native home. You can prepare this soil in your own home, too, by doing some research online. 


In the end, do note that plants need a similar care routine to us humans. They want their nutrients, water, soil, time, and hard work to be a healthy plants. In the case of gladiolus, make sure you choose the right soil for them, water them regularly, plant them in well-draining soil and pot, choose the right fertilizer, and get them the sun they need! We hope these answers or reasons helped you in your question of why are my gladiolus not blooming. Just make sure you are not disheartened when the plant doesn’t bloom and work towards the betterment of it. Good luck!