Why daffodils don’t bloom?

+27 votes
asked Jul 8, 2018 in Science by VilmaSladen (430 points)
edited Nov 20, 2018
I am really upset. I have put time and effort into my daffodils, for the last couple years, and they still won’t flower. What’s going on? Why daffodils don't bloom? Any logical or scientific reasons behind this?

1 Answer

+20 votes
answered Jul 1 by KeriMcGuffog (360 points)
edited Jul 20

There are several reasons why daffodils don't bloom. Some are fixable!
 


ENVIRONMENT

  • Sunlight: Are your bulbs getting enough sunlight? Daffodils need to have at least 8 hours of full sun, and are happiest with all day full sun!
  • Soil: Daffodils need a slightly acidic soil. An easy fix, if your soil is not acidic enough, is to add organic matter/compost to your soil. You can also add an acidic fertilizer. Make sure your soil is well moistened and not too dry, as well as aerated.
  • Too many bulbs: If you have too many bulbs in one area, your daffodils can suffer from over-crowding. Attempt, when soil will let you, separating and replanting some bulbs elsewhere.
  • Dead bulbs: Make sure that your bulbs are still in good health (and make sure they are still even where you planted them). Wildlife and bad drainage can cause bulbs to die or disappear!
  • Other plants: If you have your daffodils planted close to a stronger plant that requires the same nutrients at the same time, your daffodils will suffer. Also, if the area is shaded by other taller plants (large shrubs, trees, etc.), your bulbs may not be getting enough sunlight.
  • Weather conditions: If the past growing season was too hot or dry, the bulbs may have a hard time being replenished. Make sure your bulbs are still alive and try “feeding” them by enriching their soil.

PLANT PROBLEMS

  • Genetics: The bulbs you planted may have weak genetics. You may just have to replant.
  • Small size: If your bulbs were fairly small when planted, they may take time to grow large enough to flower.
  • Virus: It is always possible that your daffodils contracted a virus. If this is the cause, it would be best to dig up all bulbs and just start over, as the virus on one bulb can spread to other bulbs near it.

PLANTING ISSUES

  • Depth: If you planted your bulbs in too shallow of soil, environmental damage could have occurred. It is recommended to plant daffodil bulbs deep enough to equal approximately 3 times its size (for example: a 3 inch bulb should be planted close to 9 inches in the ground).
  • Fertilizer: Test the ground. As stated above, the soil has to be slightly acidic. Try a low nitrogen/high phosphorous and potassium fertilizer. Be sure to feed your bulbs at least every year, if not twice a year.
  • Leaves: If you pruned too early after the last growing season, you may have taken some vital nutrients from the plant. Be sure to prune after the last flower has fallen and before the leaves have begun to yellow.
  • Late Planting: You need to plant daffodil bulbs by early autumn. If you plant them too late in the season, they will most likely not grow correctly (and thus not flower) the following growing season (and maybe one or two more growing seasons after that). If that is the case, make sure the bulbs are still there and still alive, then keep on taking care of them like you say you have been, and you should have flowers in the next year or two!
  • Stress: Any plant endures stress when planted, or replanted. You may just have to give your plants a little extra time to work through the duress. Have patience!

If you would like more information on growing daffodils, or other types of bulb plants, check out the following website:
http://daffodilusa.org/

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