Tulips are up but not daffodils

ivysmomFebruary 25, 2011

This is my first year planting either of these two bulbs. They went in the same raised bed, at the same time - tulips down 8", daffodils down 6" - and have received the same watering regiment. I kept the tulip bulbs in my refrigerator from October through January (when they were planted). The daffodils were not kept in the fridge, and when I went to plant everything, I noticed the daffodils were starting to put out roots from the bulbs, so figured they were good and ready.

They all went in the ground mid-January. The tulips are now all up and one even opened a bloom this morning. The daffodils aren't even poking through the soil's surface yet. I was under the impression that I'd see daffodils first. Is this wrong, or am I just being impatient?

Thanks :)

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Well, first you planted the daffodils very late. They are typically planted in the fall, (November) so that may account for their slowness. If that's the trouble, they should eventually come up, though they may use so much energy breaking through ground that they don't bloom. If this happens, I would let the greenery die down in the late spring and then dig them up and replant at about four inches deep. (See below.)

Second, you planted the daffodils awfully deep. They usually do better planted at half the depth in the south as folks plant them up north.(Wouldn't it be nice if the packages told us these little tidbits of important info?)
Third, it may have something to do with the varieties you planted. If you planted some of the generic varieties that are typically sold in the Big Box stores, it's entirely possible that they did need chilling. Even if they come up and bloom, these types often decline and disappear over the course of a very few seasons.

However, there are planty of daffs that do well in the Deep South (even as deep as you are). I highly recommend the Book "Garden Bulbs for the South" by Scott OGden. You'll save the cost of the book over years of learning these things the hard way. Gardening is fun and rewarding here, but it IS very different from up north. Unfortunately for us, the vast majority of the garden writers seem to live in the northeast.

My tulips were planted in January after being chilled in the fridge for eight weeks. They just began breaking through the ground today after two weeks of temps in the seventies. (Honestly, it's early for them, but who's complaining?)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 6:19PM
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Let's put it down to "there's a time for everything, and everything in its time."

A daff is not a tulip...vice versa....they are different and one shouldn't think they act alike.
As for an example, my daffodils come up toward the end of my tulip blooming period. They are hadly ever full out at the same time.

Don't foll around with them in anttempt to bring them up sooner....give them more time. If you wish to see if maybe something is acting against the daffs, dig one....or two, up and see if the bulb is still firm, whether anything is showing as far as stems and then carefully re-plant them and water them in.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 7:16PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

From a gardener who gardens in a very similar climate to yours, donnabaskets has offered excellent advice. In your climate daffodils will not need to be dug annually and they will find their own depth, even if planted too deep. The bulbs were weakened by their long stay out of the ground but next year they will be back to full strength and will bloom before the tulips. Al

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 7:32AM
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Thank you, everyone! I am learning lots each time I visit here :) I guess I was fortunate with refrigerating the tulips, to simulate being planted in these parts. I had asked around to see if that were necessary for daffodils and didn't get the impression that it was, but perhaps I should have.

And yes, it would have been handy if the packaging indicated that deeper planting is needed for more northerly climates! Whoops :) At any rate, I'm glad to see the tulips, and if the daffodils don't make it all the way up or bloom, it's an inexpensive loss at worst, and a good lesson at the same time!

I'll just wait and see if they come up and be happy if they do, keeping in mind that they need to be in the ground much sooner this next time around :)

Here's a pic of the tulip that broke open yesterday. Haven't been out to check yet today, but I suspect this one has been joined by 3-4 others since then.

Here is a link that might be useful: A tulip planted in January

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 8:29AM
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As for an example, my daffodils come up toward the end of my tulip blooming period.

Really?? I have no idea where in Canada you may be located but this is pretty much contrary to bulb bloom cycle/performance everywhere else in North America. It depends of course on specific varieties planted and location but some narcissus (daffodils) can appear as early as February and the rest are usually finished somewhere around mid to late April - maybe straggling into May in colder climates. Some species tulips can appear pretty early but late season tulips can bloom into June. There's obviously overlaps but in general, narcissus have an earlier bloom season than do tulips.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 1:14PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Ivysmom ~~

"I had asked around to see if that were necessary for daffodils and didn't get the impression that it was, but perhaps I should have."

I hope you understanding that NO refrigeration is ok for your daffodils.

I'm in a warmer zone than you and 3 cultivars (Ice Follies is one) of my daffs are in bloom now, the other ones will begin soon. I do see fat buds on the Darwin tulips.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 6:27PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

ivysmom, just to clarify. If you buy daffodil varieties that are suitable for your climate, you should never have to chill them. They can be left in the ground from year to year and the best ones will multiply.

Tulips, on the other hand, are a one shot deal. Once they finish blooming, you can just dig them up and discard them. They will most likely never bloom for you again, though sometimes the foliage will return for several years.

If you haven't seen this month's Southern LIving, pick up an issue and check out the breathtaking tulip and daffodil displays at the Dallas Botanical Garden. Oh me, oh my!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 6:28PM
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