How to arrange with gladiolus

Written by sue balk
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How to arrange with gladiolus
Make a striking flower arrangement using gladioluses. (red gladiolus and blue sky. image by Igor Zhorov from

The gladiolus is a cultured perennial belonging to the iris family. Gladiolus flowers have long stems containing several blooms, and several varieties and colours are available. The flowers are top heavy, and gladiolus arrangements require tall and large vases with sturdy bases. Once you purchase the correct vase, arranging is easy. Too many accompanying flowers and too much greenery can clutter the overall effect of your arrangement. Simply add a few monstera leaves as greenery for several gladiolus flowers and create a grand centrepiece or arrangement.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 30 gladioluses
  • 5 monstera leaves
  • Tape measure
  • Kitchen shears or scissors
  • 1 tsp bleach
  • Tall vase measuring at least 20 inches

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  1. 1

    Pinch off any wilted or tired flowers near the bottom of each stem with your fingers.

  2. 2

    Remove any leaves to be submersed in the vase water to avoid rotting, which causes water to smell.

  3. 3

    Measure five monstera leave stems and cut each to measure 12 inches.

  4. 4

    Add 1 tsp bleach to your vase and fill with fresh, cold water.

  5. 5

    Measure the height of your vase and double that measurement; the bulk of your flowers should double the height of the vase. Measure gladioluses from the end of the stems to the tip of the flowers and cut all stems at that measurement. Always cut stems at an angle for maximum water absorption.

  6. 6

    Arrange 20 flowers by evenly spreading them in the vase. Check for uniform height.

  7. 7

    Cut 4 inches off remaining 10 gladioluses. Feed them throughout the outer areas of the vase in order to create a bursting effect.

  8. 8

    Display the arrangement.

Tips and warnings

  • If using a clear vase, completely cut the stems off three additional monstera leaves and line the inside of the vase before filling with water. This creates a more formal look.
  • Always begin arrangements with a clean vase. You may need to wash or rinse a newly purchased vase.
  • Some parts of the gladiolus plant are poisonous if ingested, and the handling of some species may cause allergic reactions or skin irritation.

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