These clump-forming plants have narrow green leaves to 30 long. They produce spikes of very colourful funnel-shaped flowers which are highly fragrant. 


Greenhouse plants, conservatory plants, border plants, meadow gardens, grassy banks.


They prefer a free-draining sandy soil enriched with organic matter. They do best in a sunny spot sheltered from winds. Canes may be needed to provide support. Water freely during budding and flowering and apply liquid feed fortnightly. Ease off watering after flowering finishes in spring. 


Offsets may be divided from corms after leaves have died back. Alternatively, they may be grown from seeds sown in spring which have been soaked in water for one day beforehand.


Many cultivars, including:

F. x kewensis – to 60cm tall. These large flowering modern cultivars are available in shades of red, yellow, orange and blue.


Plant Health

Diseases are more prevalent when grown in large numbers in greenhouses and include fusarium wilt and gladiolus dry rot fungus. Pests include the caterpillars of various moths and butterflies and aphids. Greenhouse plants are also prone to red spider mite.  

More info

There are some 16-20 species which originate from southern parts of Africa mainly from the Cape Province region.


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