Although it is common to say that the gladiolus grows from a bulb, this is not technically the correct term. A gladiolus grows from what are called corms, with the glad corm happening to resemble a bulb in appearance. A corm is a solid mass with no defining layers or characteristics. If one was to cut a bulb in half, you could see the many layers contained with it. Slicing a corm in half, on the other hand, would be similar to cutting a potato - you would simply see just a solid mass of flesh. What does this mean to the average gardener? Not a great deal in the long run, but certainly it's always fun to learn something new!
The gladiolus bulb, or corm, has the same purpose as seeds or bulbs do - reproduction. Seeds and bulbs contain everything necessary to become a huge tree, a small plant or a flower. Exactly in the same way, a gladiolus corm contains all that is necessary to start a whole new flowerbed of only gladioluses. Although it resembles a very thick piece of root, the corm will actually grow a whole set of smaller roots through which it will gather both water and nutrition so it can start to produce the actual plant. And each corm will
Purchasing some beautiful and striking gladiolus bulbs, or corms, is not very difficult. Almost every local garden store, supermarket and online shop has a wide variety of gladiolus bulbs to choose from and the persons attending them can help you find one that will suit your purposes. As there are approximately 260 different species of gladiolus, and a couple of varieties of each one, there are a lot of different gladiolus bulbs to choose from. When shopping for bulbs, it is important to think about the height you want the final plants to be and the colors that would best complement your other garden plants. Gladiolus flowers come in a wide array of colors and blended colors. The most important thing is that the gladiolus bulb, or corm, is not damaged in any way or seem as if it is carrying some sort of disease. The bulbs, or corms, that show any signs of weakness should be thrown away immediately and not be allowed to even touch the soil in the garden. Disease may spread and wipe out everything, game over mister gardener.
Although it is possible to propagate gladiolus by using seeds it is not really worth the effort and time since the result always will rest on the factor of chance. The result will more or less never look like its parents and although it might be exciting to create new kinds of gladiolus every try it is not durable if you want to make a copy of the main plant. Therefore it is lucky the gladiolus grows from bulbs, or corms. The thing is that just like the potato the gladiolus will start creating new bulbs, or corms, under the surface for the sake of spreading. Getting more gladiolus exactly as its parent is just a simple question of digging up the new bulbs, or corms, and replant them elsewhere, it could not be any easier.