5 reasons why gladioli are the ultimate flower for bees and butterflies

Published on 02-04-2024

Gladioli are true magnets for bees and other insects. When they’re blooming, you’ll be amazed by the number of bees and butterflies flying around constantly. Our show garden at Forever Bulbs is proof, because it’s bee paradise! When we photograph the flowers, we really have to do our best not to have a bee in the picture :-)

Gladioli for an insect-friendly garden

If you want a garden that’s a haven for bees and butterflies, you need as many nectar-rich plants as possible. Nectar is the sweet fluid that’s inside flowers. Did you know bees, bumblebees and butterflies all have their own favorite flavor of nectar? It’s a good reason to plant your garden with various kinds of nectar-rich plants, complemented with bulbous and corm plants.

So why are gladioli so attractive to bees and butterflies and a must-have for your summer garden? Allow us to explain.

1.   360 degrees of flowers

A gladiolus has flowers on both sides of its stem. That means that in some cases, a whopping 20 to 30 flowers will bloom per spike! So whatever direction a bee or butterfly approaches from, they always have a perfect platform to land on thanks to the 360 degrees of flowers the gladiolus offers them.

2.   Open flower

The ideal flower shape for winged nectar lovers is an open flower, so that they have an unobstructed pathway to the nectar. That’s another win for gladioli, which boast wide-open flowers.

3.   Sun worshippers

Gladioli love the sun. They thrive in places where they get lots of sunlight. In fact, the more sunlight they get, the more pollen they make. And the more pollen there is, the more bees and butterflies they attract. It’s a double win!

4.   The right proportions of spikes and leaves

You used to see gladioli that consisted of about 30% spike and 70% stem, but we’ve actively bred our varieties for a radically different look. Our varieties boast a spike percentage of a whopping 50 to 70% and shorter leaves. That means they have more flowers, making them all the more attractive to insects!

5.   Fascinating flowers

A gladiolus in full bloom is an awe-inspiring sight that never ceases to fascinate bees and butterflies. The long stems proudly sticking into the air, brandishing their intensely colorful flowers, are an unmissable eye-catcher for your garden. That much is obvious when you see our show garden. Do you want to come and have a look for yourself? Drop us a line at sales@forever-bulbs.com to set a date and we’d be happy to give you the tour!


Want to know more about gladioli?

Did we convince you about gladioli’s unique appeal to insects? We did, didn’t we? And there’s one more thing: Gladioli are a very easy plant to have in your garden. All you have to do is plant them, optionally in a staggered way so you can enjoy them for even longer. The rest of the work is done by the sun – and a little water, rain or otherwise. That’s enough to make your gladioli grow and bloom! Truly, it’s that simple.

Do you want to learn a little more before you start planting? In that case, have a look at our blog posts How to plant gladioli bulbs and Planting gladioli: when is the right time? to get informed and inspired.And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to be inspired by the versatility of gladioli!