I haven’t grown Gladiolas for a few years, but this spring when I saw packages of lovely coral and chartreuse colored corms I thought it was time to plant some Gladiolas in the garden again. Plus, it didn’t hurt that I’d had a few plants die off in the last few years so I had some small bare spots in my garden beds that would be suitable for some lovely Gladiolas.
The Gladiolas started growing in June and sometime in mid-July I noticed that the stalks were really growing, indicating that they were going to flower soon. Unfortunately, just before the first flower stalk began to flower it literally fell over. I’ve never had that happen with any of my Gladiolas before.
Slowly as my Gladiolas began to bloom the flower stalks started to fall over. I’d go over to my plants and try to stand them up again. I even put flower rings around my two clumps of Gladiolas in my garden beds to help them stand better but I’m still having problems.
I’d originally thought that it was the drought that we were going through in July that was causing the problems with the Gladiolas, but I picked a lovely blooming stalk toward the end of July for my husbands uncle and several earwigs fell off as I was carrying the stalk toward the house.
Now I’m starting to think that my Gladiolas might be infested with earwigs! I’ve seen a few earwigs on the Gladiolas since that time, but without giving the plants a good shake they could be hiding deep within the plants. I think it’s quite possible that they’re eating the stalk from the inside out and that’s why the stalks are falling over.
I’ve read on other gardening sites that the best way to control earwigs is to pick them off the plants and crush them and or to go out after dark armed with a flashlight and look at your plants and if you find a plant infested with lots of earwigs spray them with a mixture of soap and water. The soap (just a little dish soap) will kill the earwigs.
A few earwigs in the garden can be beneficial as they will eat pest bugs and garden debris, but if they begin to multiply they will literally destroy nice plants and become pests themselves.
Do you have an organic way to get rid of earwigs?