Fresh Flower Gladiola Flowers History
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Flower History
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Gladiola Flower History

Send your special birthday friend a gladiola – the flower of the Roman gladiators – that represents strong moral character.   Also named: "Sword Lily"after its weapon-shaped leaves, this flower hails from the Middle East and Africa and belongs to the iris family.  Gladiola corms were used medicinally as a poultice that helped draw out splinters imbedded in skin.   Powdered corms were also mixed with goat's milk to help lesson symptoms of colic.

Gladiolas are commercialized for cuttings since its 2-8 inch blooms are available in nearly every color on straight stems that grow from one to five feet tall.   They are grown in sunny locations and take to any decent soil composition that's been amended with compost.   Often planted in weekly intervals to extend the growing season, they will bloom until the first frost.  Corms are sown half a foot into the ground and the same distance apart.   They should be fertilized with a 5-10-5 combination.  After plants are around a foot tall, mounded up earth and mulch around the stem will help it grow straight.   Most people end up staking their glads anyway. 

Gladiolas are sold from street corner flower carts, in farmers markets, and in florist shops.   They are grown in great variety, and part of their appeal comes from their unique and beautiful color combinations.  These flowers, like the gladiators, can stand alone in a narrow vase or teamed together with shorter complimentary florals.   Offer your birthday friend a gladiola to let them known you recognize their individual strengths, that their unique self-confidence is well-founded.  

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