Gladiolus Browning from the Ground Up - Knowledgebase Question

Atlanta, GA
Avatar for kathycahill
Question by kathycahill
June 8, 1998
My poor glads! First the thrips and/or whiteflies devoured the leaves, now the stems are turning brown and limp from the ground up. I?m spraying with insecticidal soap for the bugs, but is there any cure for the other? I?ve got more bulbs to plant, but am unsure if the soil is now tainted.

Answer from NGA
June 8, 1998
I believe you're caution is warranted! It sounds like your glads are now suffering from a fusarium wilt disease. Unfortunately, once they're infected, you can't save them. Before you tear them out, though, you should have the problem diagnosed by plant pathologists at the Agricultural Extension Office (call 404/730-7000). There are a number of things you can do to reduce the chances of plants contracting fusarium: plant in well-drained, nematode-free soil and plant only undamaged corms to reduce the number of ports of entry for the fungus; mulch soil with straw to reduce soil temperatures; potassium deficiency and nitrogen overload also make plants more succeptible, so make sure soil nutrients are well-balanced. A rich, humusy soil also contributes to overall plant health and vigor. I hope this helps!

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