SCIENTIFIC NAME: Gladiolus x hortulanus

COMMON NAME: gladiolus

FAMILY: Iridaceae

TYPE: perennial in zone 8; annual farther north

LEAVES: basal and cauline, sword-shaped with many veins, 1"-2" wide, erect

FLOWER: showy one-sided spikes, each flower 2"-4" across, stem up to 5' tall; in many shades of solids and bicolors except blue

SEASON OF BLOOM: summer for about 4 weeks

GROWTH HABIT: 1' to 5', erect

SOIL: moist, well drained

SUN: full

HARDINESS: zone 8

UTILIZATION: cut flowers, background

DISEASES: corm rot, Botrytis leaf and flower spot, many others minor

INSECTS AND RELATED PESTS: aphids, thrips, red spider mites; corms susceptible to white grubs and wireworms

PROPAGATION: division of corms in fall before hard freeze as needed for good flowering

MAINTENANCE: bloom for only about a month, so successive spring plantings will be necessary for all summer flowering; tall cultivars may need staking