60203The sword of a gladiator was known as a gladio, and it probably resembled the leaves or floral spikes of gladiolus. These narrow and pointed leaves stand nearly vertical, angling only slightly to the left and right of a single flower stalk that can get as tall as six feet. The floral spike supports several very colorful florets that are arranged to the left and right, but tend to lean toward the front.

The summer bloom can be red, pink, orange, yellow, greenish yellow or white, in bright or pastel hues, and often with multiple colors. Florets bloom upward from the bottom, so lower florets fade before upper florets open. Gladiolus is an excellent cut flower anyway. Taller blooms might need to be staked.

New bulbs should be planted about now, at least four inches deep, and about four or five inches away from each other. Gladiolus want well drained soil and full sun exposure.

6 thoughts on “Gladiolus

  1. These are one of my favorite summer cut flowers. I don’t grow them–I definitely have the wrong soil. But where I have seen others growing them, I haven’t liked the look. I am not sure if it’s because their design was bad–marching along, single file in a row ( although that would go with the soldier theme perhaps) or if they just looked out of place, still, in our landscape. So I content myself with the cut version.


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    1. That is how I feel about the hybrid tea roses. I happen to enjoy growing them, and I really like them as cut flowers, but would not want them in a landscape. That is why they go into separate rose gardens. Gladiolus can look good in groups. I really just grow them because I like the cut flowers, but there are better perennial flowers for the landscape. We have a few at work that look good with Peruvian lily, but once I cut the faded flowers off, I dislike how the fading foliage must remain.


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