WSU Clark County Extension

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Scientific name: Gladiolus spp.

Type:Bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes
Plant Requirements
Zone:7 to 10
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:5 ft
Width:1 ft
Bloom:Showy flowers
Bloom Time:April to October
Bloom Color:Pink
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Gladiolus is an easy-to-grow flowering bulb that produced an abundant display of beautiful blooms for the home garden or for commercial florists. They are also known as Sword Lilies.

Gladiolus grows from a bulb-like underground structure known as a corm. With the onset of spring growth, stems emerge from the corms and give rise to 1 - 9 narrow un-branched, sword-shaped, longitudinal grooved leaves enclosed in a sheath. Gladiolus range from 2’-5’ tall with graceful trumpet-shaped blossoms borne in a double row along the stem. Flowers come on upright spikes, usually one per corm, opening from the bottom upward and usually with several open at a time.

Flowers come in a vast number of colors including white, pink, red, purple, yellow, orange and salmon. The blooming season for gladiolus extends from July until frost.

Small corms (those less than 3/8 inch diameter)may not produce flowers. To ensure large-sized blooms, gardeners generally plant corms that are an inch and quarter or larger in diameter.

In western Washington most gardeners leave gladiolus corms in the ground once the foliage has been killed by frost.

Glads do best in full sun, though they will produce smaller flowers in light shade. Glads do well in a variety of soils, but they prefer a sandy loam.

The corms of Gladiolus plants are poisonous if ingested and handling any part of the plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.

When the leaves of Gladiolus appear streaky, or if flowers fail to open or are misshapen, the plant has been attacked by thrips.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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