Glads: Cutting and Care
What's Melinda Myers' best advice when it comes to glads? "Plant plenty so you can bring some indoors to enjoy!"
If correctly cared for, cut glads are likely to bloom between 10 and 14 days when displayed in a vase. Gladiolus flowers open from the bottom upward and should be harvested just as the flowers on the lower third of the spire open.
In early morning or evening, use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the stems, leaving at least four leaves on the plant to nourish the corm and guarantee blooms next planting season. Cut the lower stems diagonally, place them in a bucket of warm water, and set the bucket in a cool dry place for 2 hours before arranging flowers. If possible, use non-fluoridated water for soaking and arranging. Fluoridated water may burn leaves and flower tips.
Before arranging the glads, strip away leaves that would fall below the waterline. Fill a vase with water and add floral preservative to the water. Recut stem ends on the diagonal and place the stems in vase. Set the vase away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Lengthen the bouquet's life by giving it daily care. Every day, change the water and add floral preservative. Cut stems back by 1 or 2 inches and pick off any wilted flowers to keep the arrangement tidy and to allow the unfurling upper buds to take center stage.