Gladiolus Flower – Meaning, Symbolism and Colors

Flower symbolism is not only important when we have to gift someone a beautiful bouquet for their birthday or anniversary, it is also important to know more about nature and beings that live inside of it. Flower symbolism is full of information about our beloved flower sorts that are combined with a lot of symbolic meaning behind this information.

Every culture had its own symbolic meanings tied to certain flowers, which is the reason why we often find several different meanings of a particular flower. Even though it might not sound like flowers are important to us, if you think about it, they are the best way to express your feelings to another person without even saying a word.

Choosing the right flowers, based on its symbolism, can make or break a date or reunion. Not all people are aware of the symbolism of flowers they gift, but if you care about the person to whom you are gifting a bouquet, then you should know a little bit about the symbolic meaning of the flower you are giving someone.

In the other half of this article, we are going to explore the secret meaning and symbolism of the Gladiolus flower. If you were ever interested in knowing more about this flower, of it is your favorite flower, this is the right opportunity do so.

Meaning of the Gladiolus flower

Every flower has its own meaning and symbolism. No matter how small the flower might be, its symbolic value doesn’t have to depend on that fact. The meanings behind certain flower were influenced by the way people saw them or by the way they were used. Some of them were tied to ancient stories that forever marked their existence, and that meaning is still worshipped today.

Gladiolus flower has several meanings. Some of them are:

  • Faithfulness
  • Integrity
  • Infatuation

Faithfulness – Gladiolus flowers are symbols of faithfulness and being honest in all occasions. This flower is the perfect one to gift to your partner if you want to show him or her you are ready to commit and show true faithfulness. Gladioluses can be an ideal Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one, especially if he or she understands the secret meaning behind this beautiful flower.

Integrity – Gladiolus flower is also a symbol of integrity and strong moral values. This flower is ideal flower to gift to someone you deeply respect and find to be a person worthy of your devotion. You can gift a gorgeous bouquet of Gladiolus flowers to your co-worker to say thank you or to express your appreciation.

Infatuation – Linked to two previous meanings, the Gladiolus flower is also a symbol of infatuation and deep admiration you have for someone. This can be seen in both romantic and none-romantic way, so this is a safe flower to gift to someone you find to be worthy of your respect and admiration.

Strength – Gladiolus flower is also a symbol of strength and overcoming difficulties in life. This flower sends a strong message of support and love to the person you are gifting this flower to, so make sure you have chosen the right person as the receiver of such a gift.

Gladiolus – Etymological meaning

The name Gladiolus is both scientific and name that is usually used among people to represent these flowers. There are many different names which are commonly used among people, and every culture uses a different name to name this beautiful flower. Some of the most common names are sword flowers or even sword lilies, because these flowers have a sword-like shape of the foliage and flower spike.

In ancient Greece, Gladiolus flowers were called xiphium which is a word that comes from the Greek word xiphos. The word xiphos means sword, and we can already conclude why this flower got this name by simply looking at it. This name was later changed into gladiolus, which is the word that comes from the Latin word gladius and it also means sword.

Gladiolus – Symbolism

As we already mentioned before, Gladiolus flowers have several symbolic meanings and references. Each culture had its own view of this flower and the symbolism behind it differs according to these different views. Gladiolus flowers were often related to gladiators because of their resemblance to swords. This is actually the origin of the “strength” symbolism behind the Gladiolus flower.

Because of its unusual appearance and association with swords, the flower got this symbolic meaning. Besides that, Gladiolus flowers grow in the wild where living conditions can be rough, which is why they are considered to be symbols of strength.

Gladiolus flowers are usually seen as old-fashioned because the old Americans planted these flowers in their gardens and backyards. Gladiolus flowers came from Africa and Asia, and the European continent was deprived of these flowers until the 18th century.

There are also many biblical references to the lilies flowers, but many believe that these references are actually to Gladiolus flowers which were common flower sorts in this region.

Gladiolus – Color meaning

Color of the flower can add or take away a lot from its meaning. It is important to know the flower color and to understand what this color represents in general. Gladiolus flower comes in several different colors and they are:


  • Color red in general symbolizes romance, passion, love and sometimes aggression. The red Gladiolus flowers are symbols of love and passion and you can gift them to your partner if you want to pick something different for Valentine’s Day. This beautiful flower can be gifted for anniversaries, if you want to express to your loved one how much this person means to you. Combined with the symbolic meanings of Gladiolus flowers like faithfulness and infatuation, this is the perfect flower to show how much a certain person means to you.


  • Color yellow in general symbolizes happiness, joy, positive energy and friendship. The yellow Gladiolus flower symbolizes cheerfulness and compassion. This is the perfect flower to gift to someone you want to make happy or to someone who needs consolation at this moment. Combined with the general symbolism of the Gladiolus flowers, the yellow ones are just a perfect gift for a friend or a family member who needs your support and love at this time.


  • Color white in general symbolizes innocence, purity and spirituality. White Gladiolus flowers symbolize exactly this and they are usually used in weddings and other religious ceremonies. Gladiolus flower can often be used in wedding bouquets and in wedding decorations. Besides these purposes, the white Gladiolus flower can be gifted to someone you find to be an important part of your life or someone who deserves your deep respect.


  • Color pink in general is a symbol of romance, gentleness and love. The pink Gladiolus flower symbolizes feminine energy, compassion and motherly love. This is the perfect flower to gift to someone you love as a partner or in any other way. Color pink is a very neutral color but with a little bit of love mixed into the symbolism. Therefore, the pink Gladiolus can be perfect gifts for someone you love in any way and someone you respect deeply.


  • Color purple in general symbolizes royalty, nobility and beauty. The purple Gladiolus flower is a symbol of grace, mystery and charm. The purple Gladiolus flower is a perfect gift for someone who likes unusual things and to stand out in any situation. You can gift the purple Gladiolus flower to your partner, friend or co-worker because the symbolism behind the Gladiolus flowers comes out the most in this particular flower color. The symbolic meanings of strength, faithfulness and infatuation are perfectly combined in the purple Gladiolus flower.

Gladiolus – Botanical facts and characteristics

Gladiola is a garden flower that grows from bulbs or tubers. These depending on the species grow from 30 cm up to 150 cm. From the tubers, Gladiolus grows up in the beginning of the summer with festoons, long leaves of green, and during the summer grows a sturdy flower with bloom. Flowers grow so that on a stalk like a class, flowers with six petals blossom. And we can find them in almost all shades of colors. Just as they differ in height, we distinguish them by the size of the flowers. We have them from a few inches to those with a large flower and a diameter of up to 15 cm.

The flowers are opening at the beginning of July until the frosts in the beginning of the winter. When the flower opens it stays like that for two weeks. So when planting, you also need to have in mind how to plant the tubers, and make sure you make a two-week planting distance. Flowers are always used as cut flowers, and they are beautiful decorations for our home.

It likes being in a sunny place, in a rich and gentle soil, which does not retain moisture and is well drained. It is usually planted from the mid-March to the May in the continental parts, while in the warmer regions it may be somewhat earlier. Plant it by placing a tuber deep into the ground, at a depth of 12 to 15 centimeters, and the distance from the tuber to the tuber should be 20 centimeters.

It should be regularly sprayed with water and provided with enough moisture during the summer and during high temperatures. During flowering, add a little liquid fertilizer twice a month. This is going to help your Gladioluses to grow faster and to stay loomed for a while longer. Make sure you don’t overdo it with the fertilizer, because it can have the opposite effect.

In the autumn when the flower passes and the leaves begin to decay and get almost brown, it is necessary to remove the plant from the soil, and shorten the leaves on a length of about 15 – 20 cm. And cut off the roots that grew out of the bulb. Then place them in a breathable place to dry. You will know that they are completely dry when the outer wreck is easily removed from the bulb. Then save it to the place where it will be until spring and new planting. This place should be dry, cool and airy.

Gladiolus reproduces with the help of their own bulbs or tubers. Their bulbs should be planted in the spring or early summer. It is necessary to wait for all the danger of frost to pass. Before planting bulbs in the garden, first plant them in a pot in February, if you want to start to bloom early.

Gladiolus reproduction can be done with the help of seeds, but this is not practiced as often, since the Gladiolus seed is very sensitive and this whole process is more complex than previously described. Planting seeds entails ensuring the perfect temperature and conditions for it to grow, which can be demanding especially because Gladiolus grows in nature in specific areas of our planet. Trying to recreate the climate of these areas is hard; therefore reproduction with bulbs is definitely a better idea.

Gladiolus – Secret message

Every flower has its own secret message behind it, which encourages us to see life through a different set of eyes. Sometimes a flower can open up our mind to something we have never seen or experienced before.

Gladiolus flower secret message is to always be unique and not to be afraid of being different. This beautiful flower comes in several different colors, and there is literally a color for every occasion you are going to. From weddings to anniversaries, Gladiolus flower can become a part of any event and make it even more special.

The peculiar appearance of the Gladiolus flower is what makes it so unique. This sword-like flower symbolizes strength, faithfulness and infatuation and can be a perfect gift to almost anyone. If there is a person in your life and you highly respect this person, then Gladiolus flower is the perfect choice to show that appreciation. Choose the right color; express your feelings to this person and you won’t make a mistake.