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What is it?

A common, widespread disease of gladiolus plants and corms caused by fusarium oxysporum, a soil inhabiting fungus.

What does it look like?

Yellowing begins on the tips of leaves and spreads through the entire plant which eventually dies. Foilage and flower spikes have stunted growth and may look faded. Roots are rotted and the corm is spotted with firm brown or black circular lesions. The inside of the corm tissue will be brown or discolored.

How does it manifest?

Fungi of this species penetrate root corms while in the ground or storage, especially in wet soils with temperatures above 70°. Depending on the level of infection, corms will either not produce foilage at all, or that which presents may quickly turn yellow and die. Fungi can survive in diseased corms and soil for many years.

What can you do about it?

Any plants which show signs of infection must be destroyed. Dig corms up only once they have fully matured, as those prematurely excavated are more suceptible to infection. Do not plant healthy corms where diseased plants have grown. Prior to storing corms, soak them in a fungicide containing benomyl for 15 minutes. Do the same prior to planting them. Always store corms in a dry area with temperatures of 40°-50°. This causes conditions less favorable for the spread of fungi.