The Q&A Archives: Gladiolas Blooms don't open fully

Question: My bladiolas blooms turn brown and barely open before dying away. This has happened in different locations in my yard. Is the Southern CA heat too much for them or is a pest killing them?

Answer: What you describe sounds like thrips damage. Cut a few of the unopened buds open and inspect them for damage to the petals and for insects themselves. Unfortunately these pests overwinter on the corms themselves so you'll need to treat the corms to get rid of the pests. Wait until the foliage dies down in the fall or winter, cut it off at ground level and dig the corms. Soak them in a solution of 1 1/2 tsps. of Lysol mixed in a gallon of water and then replant them (or store them for replanting in the spring). This should solve the problem.

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