Is it possible for multicolored glads to revert to a previous stock or color,...

Asked January 2, 2014, 12:53 AM EST

Is it possible for multicolored glads to revert to a previous stock or color, maybe a pre-hybrid color? I would swear when I first planted mine there were many colors and now they are all the same, shocking pink and white,but still very large and healthy plants. I did leave them in the ground several years ago during a Central NY winter and maybe half survived. Could survival of the fittest cause all to revert to single color blooms? Please advise. Harry Young

Oneida County New York gladiolus

1 Response

Dear Harry,

I could find nothing in the literature to indicate that gladioli colours will change over time. The best explanation I came across is in this article: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1350&dat=19691214&id=_ClPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=9AEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7238,876475
It does seem likely that the weaker strains die out, while the stronger ones survive. This is most likely what you have seen in your garden.

While I am no expert on gladiolus, it does appear that leaving them in the ground from year to year may lead to disease problems. Digging them up each year will give you a chance to inspect the corms for potential problems.

Happy gardening,