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What is it?

A plant disease caused by the bacterium, pseudomonas marginata.

What does it look like?

The disease produces scablike lesions on the gladiolus corms. Bacteria invades the corm, working its way into the soft tissue in the stem base and causing soft, watery rot. Tiny, reddish brown spots develop on the base of new leaves. The specks become elongated dead spots and may ooze in wet weather.

How does it manifest?

After bacteria invade the corm and stem base, it causes the leaves to fall over and develop shiny spots, which contain millions of bacteria. Warm temperatures and wet soil favor rapid multiplication of the disease. Bacteria can survive several years on infected corms and plant debris. Infection is spread quickly by splashing water or contaminated corms, tools, soil and insects. Severely infected plants will die.

What can you do about it?

Destroy infected plants and do not store infected corms. There is no chemical treatment to control or stop this disease. Do not plant new, healthy corms in soil where diseases gladioli have grown, or reinfection will occur.