• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Gladiolus 'Ruby' (papilio hybrid)

sword lily 'Ruby'

  • Other common names sword lily 'Ruby'

  • Synonyms Gladiolus papilio 'Ruby'
    Gladiolus ecklonii 'Ruby'

    Gladiolus papilio
    Gladiolus papilio

    see more
  • Family Iridaceae

  • Genus Gladiolus are cormous perennials with fans of sword-shaped or linear leaves and spikes of funnel-shaped flowers

  • Details 'Ruby' is a cormous perennial, to 80cm tall, with upright, sword-shaped leaves and short spikes of ruby-red flowers in mid- to late summer


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Columnar/Upright

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Loam


  • Sand


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilChalk, Loam, Sand

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0-0.1 metre

  • Time to ultimate height 1-2 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Plant corms 10-16cm deep in spring. If the soil is not perfectly-drained, plant the corms on a bed of sand. Provide a winter mulch in cold areas

Propagation Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame in spring, or by separating cormlets when dormant

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Patio & Container Plants City & Courtyard Gardens Coastal Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Remove spent flower stems and allow foliage to die down naturally

Pests Thrips, aphids and slugs can affect sword lilies

Diseases Gladiolus corm rot and grey moulds (botrytis) sometimes cause problems

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