Gladiola, Flower of Jupiter

I’m a fan of all the old-fashioned flowers ~ including the often overlooked gladiola ~ and endure the long wait from corm to bloom of these magnificent, showy, over-the-top flowers. I’d venture to say that glads are not just a flower of Jupiter, but a flower of Jupiter in Leo. They put on quite a show and add high drama wherever they’re found ~ in the garden, home, or sanctuary.

In the language of flowers, gladiolas symbolize strength of character. The name, gladiolus, means “a small sword” in reference to the sword-like shape of the leaves. Sometimes referred to as the sword lily, these floral gladiators stand guard in the garden with their mighty presence.

I always put gladioli in a vase first, for I have found they are always going to do their own way.
~ “Voiceless Lips” by Nell Warren Outlaw

The author of Voiceless Lips attributed this to the gladiola being a temperamental flower, wanting the best position in the arrangement. We’ve all heard of temperamental actors and actresses, making demands and expecting to be treated like a diva. Maybe that’s true of arranged gladiolas. However, I’m also of the mind to consider it a matter of being opinionated ~ like the sometimes overly-confident nature of Jupiter, always sure that he is right.

As a flower essence, gladiola “Works in the crown chakra. Helps one move beyond the dimension of the ego and to become more stabilised in spiritual intent.” (Source)


Gladiolas are easy to grow and reproduce rapidly. Only a few of the many gladiolas I planted produced flowers this year, so I spent a morning devoted to pulling most of them up. (Opinionated and temperamental about their place in the garden, I assume.) I haven’t lost all hope, however, and have plans to relocate them.

Gladiolas are fantastic in arrangements or on display in a tall container. In my experience, the blooms seem to last longer as cut flowers than in the garden. I put a broken half of a brick in the bottom of my container to add weight (a Jupiter characteristic) and stability.

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