Sword lily (Gladiolus)
Gladiolus are popular garden plants. They are grown for their showy flowers produced mainly from spring to early autumn.
There are over ten thousand hybrids and cultivars produced for garden cultivation, cutting and exhibiting.Common name: Sword lily
Scientific name: Gladiolus
Habit: Columnar / Upright
Height: 50cm - 1.5m
Spread: 10cm - 50cm
Flower color: Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Season of interest: Summer
Sunlight: Full Sun
Soil: Chalk, Loam, Sand
Moisture: Moist but well drained, Well drained
Garden type: Informal Garden
Planting type: Cut Flowers, Flower borders and bedding
They are divided in three main groups:
- Grandiflorus group
This group flowers during summer. Each corm produces one spike 50-90cm (20-36in) long with as many as 28 buds.
Gladiolus in Gradiflorus group are classified into 5 sizes determined by the diameter of the bottom flower:
Giant: 14cm or more
- Nanus group
Nanus gladioli flower in early summer and are ideal for cutting. Each corm produces two or three spikes, 22-35cm (9-14in) long. Each spike bears up to 7 buds of loosely arrange flowers.
- Primulinus group
This group flowers from ealy to late summer. Each corm produces one thin stem 30-60cm (12-24in) long which bears as many as 23 buds.
How to plant gladiolus
Gladioli should be cultivated in full sun in fertile and well drained soils. Plant the corms in spring 10-16cm (4-6in) deep adding a bed of sharp sand or grit to improve drainage. Plant in clumps in mixed borders or in rows for cut flowers.