The Q&A Archives: Gladioli never bloomed

Question: Last year almost none of my gladioli bloomed. They grew out of the ground at an angle, reached 18 inches tall, turned brown and died before flowering. They got full sun, and each year I dig them up in fall and replant them in spring with a sprinkling ofbonemeal. What happened? D.F. Fremont, OH

Answer: It sounds as if your gladioli have fusarium wilt disease, says Carl Fischer, owner of Nowetta Gardens, a nursery in St. Charles, Minnesota, that has grown gladioli for more than 60 years. To check for the disease, dig up the corms and look for brown spots or soft areas. Discard any corms with these symptoms, he says. There are several things you can do to prevent the disease. Rotate your plantings, making sure not to plant gladioli in the same ground for three years. Plant corms in well drained soil and grow high vigor hybrid varieties that are less susceptible to the disease, such as Hallmark, Highstyle and First Kiss, explains Fischer.

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