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Gladioli are magnificent bulbous plants that are an enrichment for every perennial border with their colorful flower swords. They are also very popular as long-lasting cut flowers. It is important that you prune the plant correctly for the vase and after flowering so that you can continue to enjoy the beautiful flowers in the next gardening season.

Gladioli for the vase are best cut in the morning

Cut gladioli for the vase

Not all flowers of a gladiolus branch open at the same time. Wait until the lower flowers have bloomed before cutting for the vase. As a result, the buds that are still closed will surely open during the next few days. You should pay attention to the following:

  • For a long shelf life, cut in the morning if possible.
  • Use a knife with a very sharp and clean blade.
  • Place stems in water immediately to keep flowers fresh.

So that the plant is not weakened too much, you should always leave three to four leaves. If you cut too deep, you have to expect that the gladiolus will no longer sprout in the following year.

Cut back after flowering

When all the gladiolus clusters have faded, first remove only the stalk. It is important that the green remains on the plant so that the gladiolus can store nutrients and trace elements in the gladiolus bulb for the next growing season. Only when the green has completely yellowed can you cut back the leaves about ten to fifteen centimeters above the ground.


If you want richly blooming gladioli in the garden, you should avoid taking too many flower clusters for the vase. If you cut the flowers during the growing season, the bulb will not develop as well despite the remaining foliage. If the flower stalks are removed frequently, the gladiolus may not bud at all.

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