what to feed 3rd year daffodil seedlings

alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)March 26, 2013

Hello,

A few years ago I planted some daffodil seeds, and they came up the following spring, looking like thin blades of grass, maybe a little bigger last year. This year the leaves are quite a bit wider, but still a lot smaller than those from an established bulb.

I knew going in that it takes several years to go from seed to flower, but I'm wondering if I could speed up their development with some kind of fertilizer. More specifically I'm wondering what kind of NPK composition is best for this situation? I know that typical "bulb food" is not so high in Nitrogen, but those products are surely intended for large bulbs that are already flowering. Would the requirements for a small young bulb be different? They are planted around the base of a tree, in an area that has been mulched with wood chips for a long time.

Alex

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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I think most pros don't use too much nitrogen because it tends to produce "soft" bulbs, I don't know if this is true or not but I do think it makes for floppy disease prone leaves. I feel like compost provides more than enough fertilizer for daffodils, but if you want to add one of the bulb fertilizers, that should help the young bulbs just as much as mature bulbs.

Whatever you use make sure it's soluable enough to make it down through the soil to the roots in time for the plant to use it (for example bone meal won't help if you spread it on top of the soil right now, the roots are no where near it)

Maybe Sue will have something to add, she has been known to plant a daffodil or two.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 8:04PM
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stimpy926

Have to wait at least 3 years for tiny daffodil bulblets/seeds to mature and flower. The time to fertilize is when they first break through the ground, or after bloom, before the greens wither and go dormant. Bulb 'food' or bone meal is fine. I don't use fertilizer on mine, they seem to grow healthy without it. At any rate, it won't make them grow faster. 'Patience weedhopper' :-)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 8:10PM
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