By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)
Gladiolus flowers have long been among some of the most popular plants forborders and landscapes. With their ease of growth, even novice gardeners canplant and enjoy these beautiful summer blooms. Ranging widely in color, thesevibrant flower spikes are known to attract multitudes of pollinators.
When kept healthy and disease free, gladiolus plants willreturn year after year to create a stunning flower garden display. Issues likegladiolus leaf spot, however, may cause decline in the vigor of your plants.Becoming familiar with the signs of gladiolus leaf diseases is important inpreventing its spread.
Like many ornamental flowering plants, leaf spots ofgladiolus can be quite troublesome. Leaf spots diseases are generally caused bythe spread of certain types of bacteria or fungus in the garden – such asbotrytis blight, bacterial leaf blight, curvularia leaf spot or stemphyliumleaf spot. These pathogens are often introduced by infected plant matter, andcan then spread to other gladiolus plants.
Leaf spots of gladiolus may first appear when plants havestarted developing larger leaves. Gladiolus growers may notice yellowish spotsas lesions begin to form. These yellow spots will have a water-soakedappearance. Over time, these sections of the leaves will begin to die. Bacterialleaf blight may also include oozing during wet conditions.
Whether or not the infection will impede the growth of theplant will depend greatly upon the severity. Gladiolus with leaf spots can befrustrating. However, there are some ways in which growers can prevent thepresence and spread of the disease.
To better prevent gladiolus leaf diseases, growers shouldmake certain to purchase plant materials only from reputable sources. This willensure that new plantings are healthy and disease free.
Leaf spot of gladiolus prefers conditions that are hot,humid, and wet. While nothing can be done about the weather, growers can spacetheir plants to ensure adequate air circulation. Avoid watering the gladiolusfrom overhead. Watering the base of each plant will prevent any pathogens whichare present from being splashed onto healthy plants.
If gladiolus leaves with spots do occur in the garden, theycan be removed from the plant and from the site. Proper garden care and theremoval of infected plant matter will be key in preventing the spread ofgladiolus leaf diseases. Destroying infected leaves will help to deter therecurrence of leaf spot in following seasons.
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Factsheet | HGIC 2101 | Updated: Jan 13, 2020 | Print | Download (PDF)
Chrysanthemums, or hardy garden mums, like full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. They need regular watering because their roots are very shallow. These hardy garden mums were recently placed in the genus Dendranthema, which is a now a separate genus from the marginally hardy florist mums. Drought will cause woody, stunted growth. Overwatering, on the other hand, causes yellowing leaves that blacken and drop. Although the list of diseases that may attack chrysanthemums is long, mums are relatively trouble-free.
Gladiolus are planted at the earliest at the end of April, so that the frost-sensitive shoots only come to the surface after the ice saints. If you want earlier flowers, you can also prefer them in pots and plant them in a bed. Make sure that the layer of soil above the tubers is at least twice as high as their diameter – this is the only way to ensure that the growing flower stems are sufficiently stable. To extend the flowering period, you can plant the tubers from the end of April to the end of May at intervals of one week each. Note that Gladiolus, similar to roses, should only be planted at the same location every six years.
Cut withered inflorescences early to prevent seed formation. As gladioluses are in need of nutrients, you should sprinkle the planting areas with ripe compost and horn flour immediately after the tubers have been inserted. Gladioluses can be cut as soon as the first one or two flowers have opened. Be sure to leave four to five leaves on the stem so that a new tuber can develop.