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Cornell University

Gladiolus sp.

gladiolus bulb  gladiolus flowers 
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gladiolus flowers

What about it?

Gladiolus is a member of the Iris family originally from southern Africa. The leaves of the gladiolus are long and slender with parallel veins, similar to those of the crocus and the iris. The flowers emerge in an alternating fashion from a long, thick stem. The flowers come in just about every color available, making it one of the most popular annuals for gardeners today.

What is it used for?

Gladiolus can be found in almost any florist's shop; their striking colors make it a favorite in bouquets. They are also seen in gardens to add a dramatic flair to a spot in late summer.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

The gladiolus likes to grow in a sandy loam. However, they are tolerant of different conditions, as long as the soil is not too wet or too heavy.

What are its primary problems?

Thrips are the most prominent pest of the gladiolus. A thrips-infested plant will have grayish, scraped-appearing blotches on the leaves. Scab disease and corm rot can also be troublesome.

How do we propagate it?

Gladiolus plants grow from a corm. Plant the corms 6 inches deep and cover with 1 inch of loose soil. As the stem emerges, make a mound around it for support. Space the corms 5 inches apart. They will flower in late summer.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.