Gladiolus (hardy mix)

Common Name: gladiolus 
Type: Bulb
Family: Iridaceae
Zone: 4 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White, pink, red, orange, and bi-colors
Sun: Full sun
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. Site in a sheltered location protected from strong winds. Corms are best planted in fall. Plant corms 4” deep and 4-6” apart. Best planted in groups of at least 5-7. May be easily grown in the St. Louis area without lifting the corms in fall. Mulch in winter with hay/straw or evergreen boughs. Will naturalize in the garden over time.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Winter hardy gladioli are similar to the popular Grandiflora hybrids, except they grow much shorter, the flowering stalks are more slender, the individual flowers are smaller and the corms do not need to be lifted in fall in the St. Louis climate. The hardy mixes sold by many nurseries feature white, pink, red, orange and bi-color flowers on stalks typically rising to 20” tall. Flowers bloom in late spring to early summer. Sword shaped green leaves.

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.


No serious insect or disease problems. Taller flowering stems may fall over if exposed to strong winds or rain.

Garden Uses

Sunny beds and borders.