Does anyone have any ideas what might be causing all my gladiolus to come out distorted?
Looks like one of the mosaic viruses and there are several that may jump from other types of plants like cucumbers, tobacco, beans or tomatoes.
It could be thrip. I had it one year and the nursery advised to toss the corms. I was young and broke. After foliage ripened, removed soil and drenched in place with malathion (only chemical I had). Put soil back on top. Next year were fine. Not from the malathion tho. I don't think.
I guess I'll just leave them in the ground and see what happens next year though I feel like ripping them out and throwing them away in frustration. I planted 5 succession plantings for my mother who loves gladiolus and they are all coming out looking horrible. Could it possibly be fertilizer burn? I sprinkled some 10-20-20 in each trench but I didn't think it was excessive. Are glads more sensitive to granular fertilizer?
Don't know the answer to that. I put granular fertilizer in the hole, mix into lower soil, cover with 3 inches of unfertilized dirt, and lay the corms on that. I use it sparingly, like cracked pepper on a salad.
What a disappointment. Thrip are invisable to the naked eye. Do you have a good nursery where you could take the top half of one? The leaves on mine had turned silvery.
this looks very much like gladioli thrips.
usually the foliage is also streaked with white spots. you can pull on the sheaths and look inside - if it's thrips you'll see tiny black spots - longish and narrow.
it's arther difficult to get rid of them.
they overwinter in bulbs. so you'll need to treat bulbs or get new ones.
if you google 'gladioli thrips damage' you'll get lots of pic to compare.
Here is a link that might be useful: good article