My neighbor raises gladioli. This year the flower stalk would only support...

Asked August 15, 2014, 9:49 PM EDT

My neighbor raises gladioli. This year the flower stalk would only support one flower at a time. The bottom most flower would bloom, then die before the next flower bloomed. It was that way for all of his gladioli. Usually the entire flower stalk would be in bloom. Can you tell me what caused this problem?

Cass County Minnesota gladiolus

1 Response

The Gladiolus, with it's gorgeous flower is easy to grow, but often defeats many gardeners with it's rather fragile structure - the flowers usually need to be supported - and it's vulnerability to many diseases.

Although the corms are not winter hardy they can be dug up in the fall and replanted the following spring. If your neighbor is having trouble with blossoming it is possible that the corms have a virus. If so, they should be discarded and he should start out with a new batch next year. They should be planted in a different location because the virus can persist in the soil and will re-infect the new plants.

Here is a fact sheet from the Universtiy of Minnesota about Gladioli problems:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/flowers/gladiolus-diseases/

I hope this is helpful. Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.