Gladiolus offers attractive, sword-shaped leaves in fans and funnel-shaped flowers that bloom from the bottom to the top of the spikes, in nearly every color, including green. There are three main hybrid groups: Grandiflora hybrids (large flowers, lots of colors, sometimes difficult to grow well); Nanus hybrids (miniature hybrids with small blooms); and Primulinus hybrids (hooded flowers on mid-size, graceful, looser plants).
Noteworthy CharacteristicsShowy blooms in nearly all the colors of the rainbow which make excellent cut flowers.
CareFertile, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Plant every two weeks to prolong bloom season.
PropagationSeparate cormlets when dormant. For hardy species, sow seed in containers in spring in a cold frame. Tender species should be sown at 59°F in spring.
ProblemsGladiolus corm rot (Fusarium), gray mold (Botrytis), viruses, aster yellows, spider mites, thrips, and aphids.