Ruby Gladiolus Gladiolus 'Ruby' (papilio hybrid)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
sword lily 'Ruby'


The Gladiolus 'Ruby' is a striking plant known for its bold and showy blossoms, which belong to the wider group of plants commonly known as gladioli. The flowers of this variety exhibit rich ruby or deep red hues, hence the name 'Ruby'. These blossoms are typically arranged in a one-sided manner along the tall spikes, which are, in essence, the flowering stems. The individual flowers are characterized by their funnel-shaped form, which tapers into pointed tips. The petals are broad and often display delicate ruffling along their edges, which adds texture and visual interest to the overall appearance. The inner part of the flower may display subtle shadings or markings, which can vary from lighter to darker tones of red, sometimes even blending with white or other colors, creating a beautiful contrast that highlights the flower's intricate details. The foliage of the Gladiolus 'Ruby' normally consists of sword-shaped leaves that grow upright. These leaves are medium to dark green, providing an excellent backdrop for the vibrant floral spikes. The arrangement of the leaves is such that they emerge at the base of the plant and fan outwards, resulting in an elegant and organized appearance that draws attention to the stunning flowers above. Overall, the Gladiolus 'Ruby' is celebrated for its vivacious color and the elegant stature of its flowering spikes, which makes it a popular choice for decorative cut flower arrangements and a striking addition to garden beds and borders.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Ruby Gladiolus, Papilio Ruby, Gladioli 'Ruby'.

    • Common names

      Gladiolus 'Ruby' (papilio hybrid).

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Gladiolus 'Ruby', more commonly known as simply Gladiolus, has a certain level of toxicity to humans if ingested. These plants contain substances known as isoquinoline alkaloids, which can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy if ingested. In some cases, skin contact with the sap can cause dermatitis. It is important to handle Gladiolus with care and ensure that they are not consumed by children or adults.

    • To pets

      The Gladiolus 'Ruby', commonly referred to as Gladiolus, is also toxic to pets, including cats and dogs, if ingested. The plant's corms (bulb-like structures) are particularly dangerous and contain isoquinoline alkaloids that can cause symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy. In severe cases, ingestion could lead to an abnormal heart rate or convulsions. It's important to keep Gladiolus out of reach of pets to prevent accidental ingestion.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (0.3-0.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Decorative Appeal: The Gladiolus 'Ruby' has striking flowers that add visual interest to any garden setting or floral arrangement.
    • Attracts Pollinators: It draws in bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects which help pollinate your garden.
    • Easy to Grow: This plant is relatively easy to cultivate, suitable for gardeners of various skill levels.
    • Drought Tolerance: It can withstand dry conditions once established, making it suitable for xeriscaping or low-water gardens.
    • Cutting Garden Staple: Gladiolus 'Ruby' is excellent for cutting gardens, providing long-lasting cut flowers that are perfect for bouquets.
    • Seasonal Interest: It blooms in the summer, offering a splash of color when many other plants are less active.
    • Variety of Uses: Can be used in borders, beds, and containers, providing flexibility in landscape design.
    • Height and Structure: Tall flower spikes provide vertical interest and can be used to create a background for shorter plants.
    • Rapid Growth: This hybrid tends to grow quickly, filling in spaces and providing near-instant gratification regarding garden aesthetics.
    • Breeding Potential: As a hybrid, it can be interesting for enthusiasts who are into breeding and developing new varieties.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Edible Flowers: Gladiolus flowers can be used as a colorful and decorative addition to salads, desserts or as an elegant garnish for a variety of dishes. Ensure the flowers have not been treated with pesticides before consuming.
    • Art and Craft: The vibrant petals of Gladiolus can be used in art projects, such as pressed flower crafts or making natural dyes for fabrics and paper.
    • Photography Prop: The striking appearance of Gladiolus makes them an excellent subject or backdrop for floral photography, enhancing composition with their rich colors and elegant stature.
    • Teaching Tool: Gladiolus plants can serve as an educational resource in botany classes to demonstrate plant anatomy, pollination, and plant growth processes.
    • Floating Decorations: Petals or whole flowers of the Gladiolus can float in water bowls or fountains as a decorative feature for events and weddings.
    • Ephemeral Jewelry: Create temporary necklaces, bracelets, or headpieces with Gladiolus flowers for special occasions or cultural ceremonies.
    • Fragrance Production: Although not all Gladiolus varieties are scented, some can be used in the production of perfumes or potpourri when their aroma is present and desirable.
    • Natural Insect Deterrent: Planting Gladiolus in the garden can sometimes help deter certain insects or small animals, due to their shape and height.
    • Bookmarks: Pressed Gladiolus flowers can be laminated to create unique and natural bookmarks.
    • Color Inspiration: The range of colors in Gladiolus blooms can provide inspiration for interior design, fashion design, and color palettes in various art forms.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Gladiolus is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Gladiolus is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Strength of Character: Originating from the word "gladius," meaning sword in Latin, the gladiolus symbolizes strength, integrity, and the ability to overcome challenges.
    • Infatuation: Gifting a gladiolus can represent a fascination or infatuation with someone, indicating that the recipient pierces the giver's heart with passion.
    • Remembrance: The gladiolus is often used in commemorative events or to honor the memory of someone, representing remembrance and recalling fond memories.
    • Honor and Faithfulness: These flowers are linked to notions of honor and faithfulness, conveying a message of loyalty and a commitment to be true to one's word or promises.
    • Moral Integrity: Gladiolus is associated with moral uprightness and sincerity, suggesting that the person upholds strong moral values.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Parrot's Beak, or Gladiolus 'Ruby', prefers consistent moisture particularly during the spring and summer growing season, but it's crucial to avoid waterlogging. Water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Typically, watering once a week with approximately one gallon of water should suffice, but this can vary depending on climate conditions such as temperature and humidity. During the hot summer months, you may need to water more frequently, ensuring adequate hydration without overwatering. In the winter, reduce watering significantly as the plant goes dormant and requires much less moisture.

  • sunLight

    Parrot's Beak thrives in full sun conditions where it can receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Choose a spot in your garden or on your property that faces south to ensure maximal light exposure. While these plants can tolerate partial shade, they will produce the best blooms when provided with plenty of light. Ensure the plant is not shaded by taller plants to get the best results in flower production.

  • thermometerTemperature

    For the Parrot's Beak, the ideal temperature range falls between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They can withstand temperatures down to around 50 degrees Fahrenheit but should not be exposed to frost conditions. The bulbs should be lifted or provided with protective mulch if temperatures in an area fall below this mark to prevent freezing. During active growth and blooming periods, maintaining an ideal temperature range will encourage the best performance from these gladioli.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is essential for the Parrot's Beak to maintain health and promote vigorous growth. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms and prune any damaged or diseased foliage as needed to keep the plant looking tidy. Pruning should occur after the main bloom cycle, which is typically after the late summer or early fall. By removing old flower stalks, you redirect energy back into the plant for the next growth season.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Gladiolus 'Ruby' should be light, well-draining, and fertile, with added compost or well-rotted manure to enrich it. A slightly acidic to neutral pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0 works well for this plant.

  • plantRepotting

    Gladiolus 'Ruby' typically does not require frequent repotting as they grow from corms; they should be replanted annually in fresh soil after the corms are dug up following the post-bloom dieback.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Gladiolus 'Ruby' prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable and does not require specific humidity conditions as long as it has proper soil moisture and good air circulation.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, ensure well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, ensure soil is fertile, well-drained.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Gladiolus 'Ruby' begins its life as a corm, which is a bulb-like storage organ that becomes dormant during the cold season. As temperatures rise in spring, the corm sprouts and produces a tall, sword-shaped stalk with narrow leaves. In summer, the stalk blooms with a spike of trumpet-shaped, vibrant red or ruby-colored flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. After flowering, the plant sets seed, which can be collected for propagation or allowed to fall to the ground to potentially grow the following season. Once the flowering stage concludes and temperatures drop, the Gladiolus 'Ruby' enters a period of senescence where the above-ground foliage dies back, and the corm remains dormant underground throughout the winter. In the following spring, the cycle begins anew with the corm sprouting, thus continuing its perennial life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Propogation: The Gladiolus 'Ruby', a papilio hybrid, is typically propagated through the division of corms, which are its bulb-like storage organs. The ideal time for this is after the foliage has died back and the corms have gone dormant, usually in the late summer or early fall. To propagate by dividing corms, carefully dig up the corms and gently separate the new cormlets, which are the smaller corms that have developed around the base of the parent corm. Once separated, these cormlets can be planted in well-draining soil at a depth of around 4 inches (approximately 10 centimeters), ensuring that the pointed end is facing upwards. Cormlets should be spaced about 6 inches (around 15 centimeters) apart to allow adequate room for growth. Adequate watering is necessary, but overwatering should be avoided to prevent rot. This method of reproduction helps expand a collection of Gladiolus 'Ruby' and encourages the growth of new, robust plants for the following season.