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Gladiolus cardinalis

waterfall gladiolus

G. cardinalis is a cormous perennial to 70cm tall with upright, sword-shaped leaves and arching stems bearing a spike of up to twelve flowers in late spring and early summer. Each flower is up to 8cm long and bright red with white markings on the lower three petals

Other common names
cardinal red sword lily
corn-flag
see moreNew Year lily
superb gladiolus
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red White Green
Summer Red White Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Iridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

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

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Africa (Cape)

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in a well-drained soil, or pots of free-draining compost, in a sunny, sheltered position; best lifted and allowed to dry off in late summer after flowering. Repot in autumn and place in a cool but frost-free greenhouse; plant out after all risk of frost has passed

Propagation

Propagate by seed or by separating cormlets when dormant

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

None required

Pests

Susceptible to thrips, aphids and slugs

Diseases

May be affected by grey moulds and gladiolus corm rot

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