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Q: Can I dip my bulbs in fungicide to prevent them from getting diseased?

A: The best way to prevent the occurrence of bulb rots is to make the sure the planting site is prepared so it will be well drained. Avoid planting in areas that are poorly drained or that collect water. You can dip them in a fungicide however if your site is too wet the bulbs are ill fated and will succumb to disease. Plant at the proper depth, encourage good air circulation, and manage water needs. Plants that are growing vigorously are best able to resist diseases. To minimize convenient entry points for pathogens, take care to avoid wounding when handling bulbs. Buy from a reputable source and examine bulbs for any bruises or other damage. Fungal microorganisms often gain entrance through wounds created by insects or improper handling of the bulbs. Extended periods of wet weather favor infection. Diagnosis of below-ground problems involves hands-on investigation. Symptomatic plants need to be dug and examined. Diseased bulbs usually are discolored, soft, and may emit a foul odor. In some cases, there may be a black or bluish mold on the bulbs. Diseased bulbs should be discarded, along with some of the surrounding soil. One other option would be to plant Louisiana Iris or Chinese Orchid which tolerate wet feet.