Gladiolus flowers have long been among some of the most popular plants for borders and landscapes. With their ease of growth, even novice gardeners can plant and enjoy these beautiful summer blooms. Ranging widely in color, these vibrant flower spikes are known to attract multitudes of pollinators.
When kept healthy and disease free, gladiolus plants will return year after year to create a stunning flower garden display. Issues like gladiolus leaf spot, however, may cause decline in the vigor of your plants. Becoming familiar with the signs of gladiolus leaf diseases is important in preventing its spread.
Gladiolus Leaf Spot Diseases
As with many ornamental flowering plants, leaf spots on gladiolus can be quite troublesome. Leaf spot diseases are generally caused by the spread of certain types of bacteria or fungus in the garden – such as botrytis blight, bacterial leaf blight, curvularia leaf spot, or stemphylium leaf spot. These pathogens are often introduced by infected plant matter and can then spread to other gladiolus plants.
Leaf spots of gladiolus may first appear when plants have started developing larger leaves. Gladiolus growers may notice yellowish spots as lesions begin to form. These yellow spots will have a water-soaked appearance. Over time, these sections of the leaves will begin to die. Bacterial leaf blight may also include oozing during wet conditions.
Whether or not the infection will impede the growth of the plant will depend greatly upon the severity. Gladiolus with leaf spots can be frustrating. However, there are some ways in which growers can prevent the presence and spread of the disease.
Preventing Gladiolus Leaf Spot Problems
To better prevent gladiolus leaf diseases, growers should make certain to purchase plant materials only from reputable sources. This will ensure 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 space their plants to ensure adequate air circulation. Avoid watering the gladiolus from overhead. Watering the base of each plant will prevent any pathogens which are present from being splashed onto healthy plants.
If gladiolus leaves with spots do occur in the garden, they can be removed from the plant and from the site. Proper garden care and the removal of infected plant matter will be key in preventing the spread of gladiolus leaf diseases. Destroying infected leaves will help to deter the recurrence of leaf spot in following seasons.
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