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I planted gladious bulbs in June, but none have flowered and several have leaves that are a little brown, some with holey spots (despite regular watering). Were these just bad bulbs or will they possibly bloom next year?
Hi Jmunson, do't think your Gladiola's are going to flower now BUT you just never know.
If I were you, I would dig those bulbs up, with foliage attached, don't cut or remove the foliage YET, once you have dug the bulbs from the soil, gently shake the bulbs to remove the soil and then examine the bulbs.
The bulbs should be firm and plump, no soft areas, no grey mould, nothing but nice brown bulbs.
If you look carefully and find soft tissue, fungus, mould, signs of rot, insects like little worms or grubs, anything eating the bulbs, then you have found your problem, and treating it can be difficult depending on what you found, ANY of those problems for me is NO go, and I would get rid of the bulbs in question of you might spread whatever problems you have, these bulbs are NOT as expensive as the cost of spreading problems to other areas of your garden and causing death, infection or soil born diseases, but as I said, it all depends on what you find.
Putting things into perspective, it might be there is nothing wrong with the bulbs after you check them over, sometime as you said yourself, maybe they could be just bad bulbs, (what gardeners call bulbs that are growing blind) that is to say, they make foliage, on testing the bulbs are fine, nothing to say any problems, thy for whatever reason just grow like normal bulbs BUT they don't produce ANY flowers no matter what you feed them, soil enriches, watered, temp' light, all NORMAL except no flowers, these bulbs are usually disposed of as they cant produce seeds for future flowers, and even the foliage is weak and can become easy target for the spread of disease. Again the normal solution is disposal of the bulbs,
You should have planted the bulbs either in container of garden soil, the soil should be enriched with humus, compost as this helps feed the bulbs, allow air into the soil, and helps hold onto moisture in the hotter months.
Bulbs should be planted at a depth of 3 times the size of the bulb, so measure the bulb from top to bottom (growing tip - root end) if the bulb is say 2 inches tall, you make the hole 6 or more inches deep, dont go more than an extra inch deep , IF your soil is clay or not good draining, dig the planting hole maybe 8 inches deep and add a couple of inches of sharp grit for drainage so the bulbs dont sit in wet water / soil. even sand at the bottom of hole will do. add a handful of fish / blood / bone meal to the planting area as this is a slow release feed and adds nutrients over a longer period to help give energy to the bulbs for developing flowers.
Hope all this helps you out a bit.
Good luck and Best Regards. WeeNel.
I pulled up one bulb -- it looked good. And ... today ... one has started to flower! It's the only one so far, but I'll take it. I'll hang in there with the rest. We've had the strangest growing season in Wisconsin: blizzards until the end of May. Flooding in June, but little rain since.
Snap, Same going on weather wise this year for us in UK also, I've had the worst year in 50 years of gardening with regards my Veg plot, most things sat looking at my and then just rotted at the roots, had to clear them all away, even stuff I have to grow in my greenhouse like Tomato's. cucumber. Peppers ect have not done well due to lack of heat and sun earlier on when at the seedling stage, OH well jmunson, don't beat yourself up over some bulbs that appear to be trying there best against all the odd's, just hang fire and maybe next year will be a good gardening one.
Kindest Regards and enjoy whatever blooms you get as the season here is a bit late for summer flowering bulbs.