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Gladiolus Genus

Sword lily

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General Needs

  • LightFull sun
  • HardinessHalf hardy (min 0°C)
  • SoilWell drained, Fertile
  • Soil pH6.0 to 7.0
  • WaterDry

Description

Gladiolus genus (Sword lily). This genus has about 180 species of perennials with sword-shaped leaves in fan-like tufts. They have colourful flowers which are large showy and funnel-shaped.

Characteristics

Perennials, Fragrants

Origin

South Africa, Mediterranean, Asia

Interest and use

Is suitable for cutting or for planting in mixed borders; most hybrids are also good for exhibition.

Cultivation

They are frost to half hardy and will need a sunny and fertile, well drained site. You will need to plant the corms 10-15cm deep and the same distance apart in spring, water well in summer and support the tall cultivars with canes. Cormlets, removed after lifting should be stored in frost-free conditions and then be planted out 5cms deep in spring; lift in winter as for mature corms. They will flower in 1-2 years.

Propagation

You can propagate by seeds or by removal of young cormlets. The seeds should be sown in early spring in a cool greenhouse. Seed sown in early spring in a cool greenhouse will take 2-3 years to flower and may not breed true to type.

Pests, diseases or disorders

Gladiolus scab causes blotches on leaves. Gladiolus yellows causes yellowing stripes then death of leaves. Affected corms should be destroyed and healthy corms should be planted in a new site each year.

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