ARRANGING While growing, every flower on the gladiolus will bloom. The bottom flower is always the largest and brightest on the stem, with another nine to 15 flowers blooming above it. Most Glads open to one side rather than all the way around the stem. For a modern and simple arrangement, California floral designer Rene van Rems suggests using Gladioli with Curly Willow, allowing for the full impact of the Glads’ color. “When using Gladioli with other flowers, use them as the long lines in the composition rather than cutting them short and the same length as the other flowers,” van Rems suggests.
Gladioli blooms are beautiful on their own. “Cut open Gladioli blooms in several pieces and use them as short flowers in a bowl so they look like single flowers in one design, creating a centerpiece without obstructing the view across the dining table” van Rems says.
The best container for Gladioli is a heavy vase like ceramic or glass,” van Rems says. “Vase height should be one third the total length of the flowers. Rocks, glass, pebbles and uncut ornamental fruit all make for great stabilizers.”
CARE Gladioli growers previously recommended breaking off the tip of the flower so they’d open fully, but that’s not the case anymore. Most Glads are treated with flower food once harvested so they’re fully ‘pumped’ with water when you bring them home.
Use the packet of flower food provided by your florist. The flower food has sugar, biocides and water acidifiers so that the water has a lower pH, making it softer. Soft water is absorbed by flower stem tissue much faster than hard water. And when it comes to water, less is always more. Less water equals fewer bacteria. Gladioli love to drink, but don’t put them in more than six inches of water. Some of many tips found on HGTV!