Is it possible for mult... #163224 - Ask Extension


Is it possible for mult... #163224

Asked January 02, 2014, 12:53 AM EST

Is it possible for multicolored glads to revert to a previous stock or color, maybe a pre-hybrid color? I would swear when I first planted mine there were many colors and now they are all the same, shocking pink and white,but still very large and healthy plants. I did leave them in the ground several years ago during a Central NY winter and maybe half survived. Could survival of the fittest cause all to revert to single color blooms? Please advise. Harry Young

Oneida County New York

Expert Response

Dear Harry,

I could find nothing in the literature to indicate that gladioli colours will change over time. The best explanation I came across is in this article:,876475
It does seem likely that the weaker strains die out, while the stronger ones survive. This is most likely what you have seen in your garden. 

While I am no expert on gladiolus, it does appear that leaving them in the ground from year to year may lead to disease problems. Digging them up each year will give you a chance to inspect the corms for potential problems.

Happy gardening, 
Lynne Marie Sullivan Replied January 03, 2014, 12:23 AM EST

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