Gladiolus is a sun loving plant, so it prefers open field conditions for its commercial cultivation. Under shade, plants become lanky and produce poor quality spikes. It requires a minimum of 80% light for proper growth and flowering. Low light intensity leads to abortion of spikes or blind plants. However, it can be grown to some extent under the partial shade of coconut gardens during the summer season due to the prevalence of high temperature and light intensity. A study was conducted with an intention of testing (Table 1a& 1b) the performance of gladiolus cultivars under partial shady conditions (40% light intensity) of coconut garden.
Relatively, the performance of all the cultivars was better under open conditions. Even then, there is a possibility of growing gladiolus as an inter crop in coconut garden’. particularly in summer. All cultivars except Nova Lux and Peter Pears performed well under shade. So, it is basically a varietal character and the capacity to tolerate the shady situation. Seeing the performance in most of the characters, the cultivar Wigs Sensation is a better choice to take up in coconut gardens.
Gladiolus can be grown in a wide range of soils but the most preferred soil for its luxuriant growth and flowering is sandy loams. Soil having light texture, more organic matter and free drainage is ideal for its production. Though it can be grown more effectively between pH 5 and 7.5, the optimum level of pH is 5.5 to 6.5. Problematic soils namely alkaline, saline, acidic and waterlogged soils should be avoided as they affect growth and development of gladiolus. Lateritic and sandy loamy soils present in the state have been found suitable for gladiolus cultivation.
- Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute, Ela, Old Goa, Goa