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1st glads-tall/green foliage, but ugly brown blooms

Posted by phylrae z5a/centralNYS (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 22, 09 at 16:08

I've never grown gladiolas....but picked up a bag of bulbs from Home Depot last spring and planted as directed in a well-amended planter. I don't remember the bulbs being soft or anything....but my neighbor, who grows great glads told me he thinks my problem was probably due to inferior bulbs.

Anyway, they all came up nicely, tall & green & promising.
But when they bloomed, the blooms were just plain ugly, brownish looking....kinda like the way thrips ruin the edges of a rose. I didn't notice any unusual bugs or anything. It was a rainy season, but they were in full sun.
I couldn't enjoy even one bloom because they were all really ugly.

Any ideas? I'd like to try them again next year, but maybe I need to hand-pick the bulbs individually from a local nursery that has a great reputation?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 1st glads-tall/green foliage, but ugly brown blooms

Agreeing with your neighbor - think you got a bad bag of corms. Could have been old, seriously undersized, leftovers thrown together as a mix - hard to tell. Glads are well suited for container planting and can use a periodic dose of a Miracle-Gro like fertilizer especially when the foliage is just starting to grow. Drying out in containers could be a problem.

I wouldn't give up on buying them from the big box type stores either - they're inexpensive. And you can get bad bulbs/corms from mail order and reputable garden centers just as easily.

I don't grow glads every year (and I don't bother saving the corms over the winter when I do). Did plant them this year though, and bought the 15 corms to a package deal from our local Menard's, which is a Home Depot, Lowes type store. I shy away from the high count mixed bags, in favor of the boxes of the single color Gladiolus Grandiflorus - tall flower stalks, large florets. You can see through the package to judge if the corms are large, healthy, etc.

When I grow them, it's for cut flowers for the house, but I like the sword-like foliage in the gardens in any case.

RE: 1st glads-tall/green foliage, but ugly brown blooms

Thanks so much for your insight here! I will try again this spring...gladiolus grandiflorus....I'll try to remember that! :0)
BTW, are there any specific cultivar names that are better than others that I should keep my eyes open for (but aren't ultra-expensive either?) Just some really colorful ones? I love vibrant colors or picoteed types!
:0) Phyl

RE: 1st glads-tall/green foliage, but ugly brown blooms

Well, as I recall, these were 15 corms for $4.95-5.95. And the picture on the plastic carton says Gladiolus Grandiflorus. I don't know from cultivars, etc. since I basically go for specific colors - this year pure white and a pure yellow and a pure peach.

If you stagger the planting a little, they don't all come into bloom at the same time.

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