Gladiolus × gandavensis
Common Name: gladiolus 
Type: Bulb
Family: Iridaceae
Native Range: Garden origin
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Red to reddish-yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some part afternoon shade. Prefers light, well-drained, organically rich soils. Performs well in sandy loams. Site in a sheltered location protected from strong winds. Corms may be planted in fall or spring in areas where winter hardiness is not a problem, but otherwise should be planted in spring after soils warm. Plant corms 4” deep and 4-6” apart. Plants are best located in groups of at least 5-7. Taller plants may need staking or other support. Plants may be grown in the St. Louis area without lifting the corms in fall if well-protected with a winter mulch of hay/straw or evergreen boughs. Regardless of winter hardiness ranges, some experts claim that these plants will perform best in all zones if lifted in fall each year. General procedure for lifiting is as follows: after foliage yellows and before the first significant fall frost, dig up corms, cut off stems and leaves, separate cormels (small corms at the base), dry corms and cormels, discard any diseased or damaged corms and store remaining ones for winter in a dry medium in a cool, frost-free location. If fungal diseases have been a problem, consider dusting corms with a fungicide immediately prior to storage.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Gladiolus × gandavensis is an important foundation plant in the history of gladiolus hybrids. Dating back to 1837, this cross (G. natalensis × G. oppositiflorus) led the way toward the development over time of the modern gladiolus hybrids available in commerce today. Sword-shaped medium green leaves form clumps of foliage to 1-1.5’ tall. Funnel-shaped red to reddish yellow flowers bloom from bottom to top on slender scapes rising to 2-3’ tall. Flowers bloom from late spring into summer. Although still available in commerce, this hybrid is not now widely planted.

Genus name comes from the Latin word for a small sword in allusion to the shape of the leaves. The plants are also sometimes called sword-lilies but people generally use the Latin plural gladioli.

The hybrid name gandavensis refers to Ghent, Belgium.


Thrips may damage flowers. Watch for aphids and spider mites. Corm rot, mosaic virus, gray mold, rust and wilt may occur. Taller flowering stems may fall over if exposed to strong winds or rain.


Sunny beds and borders. Containers. Valued as a cut flower.