Summer Favorites: Gladiolus, Zinnia, & Hydrangea

Posted by Kayla Neary on July 31 2019


Long days, abundant sunshine, and beautiful blooms; summer is the time that we're all appreciating the magical work of mother nature. Gladiolus, zinnia, and hydrangea are a few of the essential flowers to think about when arranging designs for your summer events. 

Each of these blooms have individually unique characteristics that make them stand-out on their own. Yet when used together, they create a cohesive and multi-dimensional look. Read along as we discuss what makes these flowers so special, and show a simple vase-arrangement video tutorial that combines gladioli, zinnias, and hydrangeas. 


Standing tall with their trumpet-shaped blooms, gladioli add an intriguing visual interest to any summer arrangement. They're a wonderful summer flower that are available in every color of the rainbow (except blue)! 

Glads symbolize honor and remembrance; fitting since they are most often used for sympathy work. Beyond your typical sympathy designs, glads are a perfect line flower for large arrangements and their individual blooms can be used in corsages, or wired for bouquets.


When purchasing, choose long, unbroken stems with bright foliage. You'll want the blossoms on the lower end of the stem to be opening, with the remaining top buds showing color. TIP: If your glads are struggling to open, remove the very top stem. This stem is the apical dominance and is where the growth hormones are located. Snapping this tip off forces the growth hormones back into the flower and allows the side buds to open. 


With a similar appearance to daises and dahlias, zinnias are an incredibly tough flower with bright-colored blooms. With their peak season being the summer months, zinnias are perfect for clients looking for an untamed, garden-style look for their events. 


There are three types of zinnia flowers. First, single-flowered zinnias; they have a single row of petals with a visible center. Semi-double flowered zinnias have numerous rows of petals with a visible center. Double-flowered zinnias are a combination of the two. They have numerous rows of petals but their centers are not visible. 

Purchasing tip: choose zinnias that have just opened. The centers of the flowers should not be fully developed or shedding pollen. When designing, be sure to remove all foliage. Zinnia leaves turn quickly and will not last as long as the flower.


With their large blooms and varying color choices, hydrangeas are a popular choice for weddings and events. They add a classic, elegant charm to any arrangement or bouquet, and bring a beautiful texture to your designs. 

Hydrangeas are a tricky flower due to their wilt-sensitivity. Be sure to keep them well hydrated and choose blooms with no browning when purchasing. If you're hydrangeas are wilting too quickly, fully submerge the head in water. This will help them perk back up since they drink through their petals.


Hydrangeas don't need other flowers to help them shine - they are beautiful on their own. But when combining with other blooms, roses, lilies, and gladioli are all popular choices that complement the hydrangea well. 

Like other flowers, hydrangeas' coloring is determined by the acidity levels of the soil in which they grow. During the beginning of the season they are available in colors such as white, green, pink, blue, and purple. But did you know these flowers keep changing color until the moment they are cut? This is how the 'antique' colored varieties are created.

Design tutorial

Combining these three flowers in one arrangement is a perfect match. They all contrast one another and bring different elements into the design. In the video tutorial below, we chose to use spray roses, protea, and olive branch greens in addition to the gladiola, zinnia, and hydrangea. 

HubSpot Video

Are you using gladioli, zinnias, and hydrangeas in your work this summer? Tag us in your photos on Facebook & Instagram

Looking to purchase these fresh blooms online for an upcoming event? Contact your sales rep or log-in to your Kennicott Direct account. 

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Posted by Kayla Neary

Kayla Neary is the Marketing Coordinator for Kennicott Brothers. She holds a Bachelors degree in Communications from The University of Alabama and has previous experience as a retail florist.

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