Glorious Gladiolus

Gladioli are named from the Latin for “little swords”, hence why some still refer to them as Sword lilies.   They have sword like foliage with tropical blooms.  I will continue to refer to these glorious gladiolus as “glads”.  They range in height from 12 inches to 5 feet.  The glads come in two types: large flowered and miniature.

The large flowered type are the most popular.  With so many flowers on one stem, available in so more colors than any other flower, ruffled, semi ruffled or plain- its no wonder that its a beloved classic.  They are hardy in Zone 7 and up.  The miniature are mostly smaller and shorter replicas of the large flowers.  These are hardy in Zone 4 and up.  The corms multiply quickly each year providing you with more flowers the next year!

They are loved mostly for use as cut flowers, because of the wide range of colors, sizes and flower types and delicate as an orchid.  They can be a great complement in flower beds as the back of the border for bushier and shorter flowers.  Or they can be a nice accent in large container gardening as well.  Most of all, they look best when planted in mass.  These are excellent for the amateur gardener as well, because  they will grow almost anywhere seeming to almost take care of themselves.




You will want to plant these corms (a type of bulb)  in full sun and in well drained soil after danger of frost.   You would plant them 3-4 inches deep with flat side down and about 5 inches apart.  A great technique is planting  multiples of them a week apart to have glads blooming all summer into fall!

If you live in Zone 6 or less, it is easy to store them over the winter.  I will get to the topic of storing these at a later date.  It is time to think of planting and enjoying them- not hiding them away for another season!


This entry was posted in Container Gardening, Flowers, Gardening 101, Spring, Urban Gardening and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Glorious Gladiolus

  1. Wife Mother Gardener says:

    I think that I will try adding these to my front walk garden this year to bloom between my allium and japanese anemones… thanks!
    Julie @

  2. Jean/Jean's Garden says:

    These were my father’s favorite flowers. He was not the kind of romantic who bought flowers for his wife. His expressions of love more more along the practical lines, like working two jobs so that my mother could stay home and raise the children. But when the gladiolus came into bloom in late summer, he would arrive home one day with an armful of them. They would be given pride of place in a large vase that was never used for any other purpose, and we would all swoon at their loveliness. I have never grown these bulbs, but I always buy them when I see them for sale at local farmstands. And when I do, I always remember my father and smile.

  3. Pam says:

    How do you keep them from falling over?

    • Gabrielle says:

      If you do not have them planted surrounded by other bushy flowers, they can lean and fall over. This is usually how I choose which to cut to bring in for my bouquets.
      A simple way that is not to visible: fishing line tied to wood or green planting stakes on each side can help them stay supported.

Comments are closed.