Abstract: Agriculture has been changed dramatically, especially since the end of World War II. Food and fiber productivity has risen due to new technologies, mechanization, increased chemical use, specialization and government policies that favored maximizing production. Sustainable agriculture is now in vogue as it integrates three main goals—environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity. People in many different capacities, from farmers to consumers, have shared this vision and contributed to it. Progressive farmers have adopted the sustainable flower farming option. The article will focus on the cultivation of gladiolus in Pakistan

Consumption of cut flowers is increasing day by day with changing lifestyles and social values. Gladiolus flowers have become the market leader in terms of flower selling and cultivation in Pakistan after roses and tube roses. There is an ever increasing demand of gladiolus because this gives the filling flowers impact but also easy to find round the year. The key to success in gladiolus is to keep planting and keep selling. Here, the effect of nitrogen on the plant’s growth is kept under consideration for successful cultivation and to fulfil ever increasing demand of the flower in the market.

Concept and objective: If gladiolus flower would grow with intense care, it has great returns on investment. It requires well drained soil, right bulb size for right season, different varieties for different seasons, and if grow on drip irrigation system, these can grow tremendous quality flower and more productivity. It is observed that 300 kg N/ha and 4-5 cm bulbs in size gives better result for flowering attributes and vase life of cut spikes of gladiolus. The treatment combination of 300kg N/ha and 30 × 30 cm planting geometry and bulbs more than 4 cm in size responded best for vegetative growth and bulbs production. Nitrogen mainly effects on the vegetative growth and green color of stem and leaves of plants.

Introduction: Gladiolus is a perennial bulbous flowering plant belongs to the subclass Lilidae part of the class of monocots in the order of liliales and the family Iridaceae. This genus mostly occurs in Asia, Mediterranean Europe, South and tropical Africa. The center of diversity is in Cape Floristic Region. As per estimation, it has about 260 species around the world. The flowers of unmodified wild species vary from very small to 40 mm across, and inflorescence may bear one to several flowers. Its magnificent inflorescence with a variety of colors has made it attractive for use in herbaceous borders, beddings, pots and for cut flowers. It has great economic value and wide market around the world. Gladioli are half hardy in temperate climate. These flowers grow from rounded symmetrical bulbs. The herbaceous plant sprouts from axillary bud of an underground structure, a condensed vertical root stock covered with dried leaf base. The inflorescence spike bears up to 25 florets arranged alternately on the axis. Their stems are usually unbranched, producing 1-9 narrow, sword shaped, longitudinal grooved leaves enclosed in a sheath. The leaf blades can be plane or cruciform in cross section. The flower spikes are large and one sided, bisexual flowers each subtended by two leathery, green bracts. The sepals and petals are most identical in appearance known as tepals. They are united at their base into a tube-shaped structure. These flowers are variously colored, pink to reddish or light purple with white, contrasting markings, white to cream or orange to red. The majority of the species are diploid with 30 chromosomes whereas some species are tetraploid with 60 chromosomes.

The favorable agro-climatic conditions make gladiolus crop production a promising business, the return of these crops is much higher than other agricultural crops. Gladiolus is being grown in an area of approximately 11,660 ha in the country with an estimated production of 106 crore cut flowers. Amongst the cut flowers, gladioli occupied third position in terms of both area and production. Gladiolus is mainly a winter season crop but it can be grown in wide range of climatic conditions, hence found throughout the year. During growth and development, climatic conditions play a vital role therefore its plantation starts from October till December, however in some cooler regions it is planted in spring as the soil is fit for production. For successful cultivation mild climate is ideal. It prefers sunny conditions and could never be planted under shade and requires at least 80 % of sunlight for proper growth and flowering. However the site should be sheltered from strong winds and constant humid weather is not suitable as it attracts pathogens. The soil required for the growth ranges from light sandy to clay loam soils. The pH should be slightly acidic in the range of 5.5-6.5. The adequate amount of well rotten organic manure is applied to light sandy soil, while in heavy soils, sandy soils are added to improve the texture. The field is divided into small areas for the benefit of uniform levelling of land and irrigation. Drains are also provided to drain out excess water. The land is ploughed to a depth of 30 cm and the bulbs are sown up to 7-10 cm. It is propagated by bulbs and bulbils and bulbils of the first year would not normally yield any flower. It will grow to bulbs in one or two growing seasons that will further yield flower.

These are generally planted in ridges and furrows with a distance of 30 cm and a ridge distance of 15 cm. the length of the ridges is maintained as per requirement of cultural practices. In temperate zone, the bulbs of most species and hybrids are lifted in autumn and stored over winter in a frost- free place, then replanted in spring, some European species are much hardier and can bear the temperature up to - 140 F or -26 degree C and can be left in the ground with sufficiently dry winters. The spikes would be ready from 60-120 days after planting. The spikes should be harvested at tight bud stage, with one to five florets showing color and at least four leaves on the plant for development of bulbs. The bulbils are lifted at maturity when nearly 25% of the bulbils turn brown and leaves turn yellow and start drying.it takes nearly one and half to two months after flowering for bulbs to attain maturity. According to yield, per acre would be around 80,000 spikes. The cut spikes should be kept in water and only be taken out at the time of packing. After cutting, the spikes are graded based on the length of spike, and number of florets. After grading, the spikes can be bundled into 12 or 24 and wrapped with packing paper and elastic bands. The packaging of the flowers has to satisfy a number of conditions, mainly in the field of handling, protection of the quality and presentation. Bundles of 60 dozens of spikes are packed while transporting. To prolong vase life, 1.5 cm of the spike is cut from the base under water on alternate days. The bulbs are cleaned and cured for a fortnight in shade and well ventilated place. Generally, they undergo a dormancy period of 2-3 months and then sprout. To prevent sprouting and desiccation, the corms are preferably placed in cold storages till the next growing season.