Just as certain precious stones are associated with different birth month, the same goes for flowers. Gladiolus is the birth flower for the month of August. These tall-stemmed flowers get their name, most likely, from the fact that they were regarded as the official symbol of Roman gladiators who fought in the Roman Coliseum. That may also be the origin of one of the common names for gladioli: “Sword Lily.”
According to the Language of Flowers, Gladioli have many meanings, including love at first sight. They also symbolize integrity and character strength. One legend about these colorful flowers suggests that when someone gives a loved one a gladiolus, they are piercing the recipient’s heart with their love.
If you want to show your love for someone, or enjoy the August flower, look no further than the Glorious Gladiolus Bouquet from Zeidler’s Flowers. Arranged in a clear glass face with ornamental greenery, this elegant arrangement is true to these beautiful flowers’ meaning: splendid beauty.
Gladioli are widely grown for the cutting industry, and gardeners love them because they are easy to grow, and because they’re an excellent addition to a perennial bed, even though many varieties have to be removed from the ground before the first freeze.
Dwarf Nanus gladioli are hardy enough to withstand cold Midwestern winters – if they are protected with a heavy layer of straw mulch. Like other spring-blooming bulbs, Dwarf Nanus corms are planted in fall.
Larger gladioli varieties are planted in spring, so you can enjoy blooms around mid-summer, the traditional bloom time. Summer blooming varieties are grouped into categories, according to when they bloom – early, middle, or late summer. To get the optimal flower display in your yard or garden, plant a mixture of varieties that bloom at different times.
Choose a sunny location that is protected from extreme wind. You can choose a site that gets partial sun if the area gets at least 4 hours of direct sun every day.
Wait to plant your summer-blooming gladioli until after the danger of frost has passed. Before planting, prepare your growing bed. Till or dig the soil to loosen the soil from the surface to 15 inches deep. After loosening the soil, add compost (not composted manure,) so that four inches of organic matter is blended into the soil.
For each corm, dig a 4 inch deep hole. Make sure the pointed end faces up. Space corms at least 4 to 6 inches apart to allow room for spreading. Cover each corm with soil and pat firmly in place to secure corms and prevent them from falling over because the plants do get top heavy. Cover with a heavy layer of mulch to keep moisture in, prevent weed growth, and maintain consistent soil temperatures.