An old-time favorite, Gladioli are usually grown for elegant flower arrangements but they are also a great choice to fill your borders with flamboyant color! The spectacular stately, giant flower spikes in this mix are the products of centuries of hybridization. Sometimes called the sword lily, the most widely used English common name for these plants is simply Gladiolus. They come in a rainbow of colors, and their long stems mean you can grow armloads of flowers in a small space. Gladioli make great cut flowers. Their sword-like foliage and tall, impressive flower spikes, make striking accents in the mixed flower border. They are also key elements in a shrub border and amongst perennials. One of the best flowers for arrangements, lasting a week or more in the vase.
Gladioli have been extensively hybridized and a wide range of ornamental flower colors are available from the many varieties. The main hybrid groups have been obtained by crossing between four or five species. They make very good cut flowers. However, due to their height, the cultivated forms frequently tend to fall over in the wind if left on the plant. This can be easily helped buy simple staking. For best garden effect, plant in groups of six or more of a single color, or grow dozens of them in a bed reserved for cutting. Imagine the luxury of having armloads of glads to display around the house!