Gladiolus growing problem

Asked February 1, 2018, 11:18 AM EST

For many years my gladiolus grew and bloomed well. I plant them in beds along with vegetables. The last few years the bulbs have grown very weak leaves and have pretty much not flowered. A few bulbs generated flowers but they were in pretty poor condition. What should I do? I am thinking of a soil test. If so, where do I go to get a soil analysis?

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

Hello. I assume that you fertilize your vegetables? If you plant your gladiolus corms among the veggies then they should be getting nutrition, they need. How was your vegetable harvest? If the vegetable harvest was also disappointing, then maybe a soil test could provide the answer. Here is a link to an OSU publication that gives you the contact information on laboratories that perform a wide variety of soil testing and service our area. https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em8677_0.pdf Perhaps the soil structure of the beds you are using has changed over the years and the drainage is not what it used to be. Gladiolus need well drained soils and about one inch of water per week. They also do not like wet feet. If you do not do so already tilling in some compost and fluffing the soil prior to planting this year may help your situation if your soils are remaining soggy after watering. Monitor the soil moisture closely this summer. Corms should be lifted every year and dried after the leaves have died back and dried. If you lift them too early the corm may not have stored enough energy to produce a large bloom stalk the following year. Here is a link to a document from Iowa State University that discusses how to lift, dry and store gladiolus corms. https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/1998/6-26-1998/bulbcormtuber.html . I hope that this information is helpful to you.