Most consumers (and even growers and florists) would probably not consider gladioli as a potted crop. Yet, it was not that many years ago that freesia were only grown as a cut flower but now are commonly marketed as potted plants. Hence, the future of potted gladiolus is yet to be determined. To help make potted gladioli a potentially successful crop, cultivar selection is important. For example, some reportedly good mini glads are ‘Adi’ (currant-red), ‘Kinnereth’ (violet), ‘Ronit’ (purple), ‘Yamit’ (violet), ‘Nirit (blood-red) and ‘Keren-Or’. Growth retardants are often required for height control. One way to apply the growth retardant is to vacuum infiltrate the corms before planting.
As a member of the Iridaceae (iris family), its cousins include Iris, Freesia, Crocus, Ixia and Watsonia.
Native to South Africa.
Normally has 4-8 flowers on a one-sided spike. Stems are fleshy, up to 2 feet long for the mini types. Plant is a perennial from corms. While a few cultivars are sweetly scented, most have no fragrance.
Gladiolus means sword in Latin, referring to the long pointed leaves. This might explain one early common name, sword lily.
Grown from corms, not bulbs. The first species as we know them today were introduced from Ghent, Belgium in 1841.
Flower forms: ruffled, fringed, orchid-like, tulip-like and rose-like.
Some cultivars are sensitive to fluoride found in water supplies, which can result in flower tip burn.
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