Gladiolus
Q.

why my gladioli turned pink

Zone zone 3, zip 04354 | cmclark added on September 27, 2018 | Answered

On Sept 22 I asked why nearly all of 4 dozen gladioli of MANY colors turned a few versions of pink this year. About half the corms were new, some from last year. This was someone’s answer on 9/24 who is obviously not familiar with gladioli: “This is Darwin's Natural Selection at its finest! This is a very good example of how a species with a dominant trait can outcrowd, outcompete, and take over a given area. When they are the only left to reproduce, then they will be the only left to show. You can help prevent this process but it will require digging up and dividing known colored offsets, and only planting the number of each that you desire. Unfortunately, this will be the only way to beat nature at its own game.” My answer to the above and accordingly re-submitting my question – why did flowers from these bulbs of many colors turn pink? The online answer missed the point - I am in the north where glad bulbs are dug up EVERY fall and replaced or replanted in the spring (I do both every year) - there is no bulb separation to do! All bulbs are planted individually at least 6 inches apart - so now what would the answer be? I don't believe Darwinian selection has anything to do with my problem.

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BushDoctor
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 29, 2018

The next answer will be quite disturbing... Radiation at dangerous levels can also cause this... However, if these are dug up every year, then I would chalk this up to error on either the the one responsible for labeling the plants as certain colors, and mislabeling them, which is quite common, or the original answer. Natural selection, which will cause a certain color to take over.

Let's say that you bought these from a large store chain, such as Lowe's or Wal-Mart... Places not known for having the best knowledge on plants... Let's say whoever they get these from were dividing corymbs from the previous year... It doesn't have to happen to you directly for selection to occur.

If you suspect this to not be the case, then the simple answer will be that somewhere along the line, someone was not paying attention and either mislabeled the color, or had the aforementioned instance occur (Which is very common, and the usual culprit in any flower color change.

Here are a few more references to this occurance: https://ask.extension.org/questions/163224

https://garden.org/frogs/view/13720/

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