Sometimes where you shop matters, because if you buy plants at the wrong place you run the risk of importing new problems into your garden. Those cheap plants you grab on a whim sometimes are far more trouble than they are worth.
I learned (or relearned…) this the hard way last year when I grabbed a bag of super cheap gladiolus corms at a box store. They were cheap, and pretty… and infested with gladiolus thrips.
At first, they just caused a few small white marks and discolorations on my flowers, but by the end of the season the population was so high that almost every bloom was totally deformed and ugly.
The solution? Getting all my corms this year from a specialty grower who sends high quality corms which have been properly treated with cold temperatures to kill all the thrips. This particular thrips can’t survive my cold Michigan winters, so by buying clean stock this year my garden is totally gladiolus thrips free.
As an added bonus… the specialty growers have MUCH cooler varieties. Like this Gladiolus ‘Huron Mask’ which has become one of my all-time favorites.