daffodils smaller this year

vvesper(7TN)March 24, 2010

I have some sort of generic yellow trumpet daffodils (one of those bushel basket deals) that I planted about 4 years ago. They are looking significantly smaller this year, as they begin to bloom. I know it's common for blooms to be slightly smaller the second year in the garden, because our gardens may not have the optimal conditions of the Dutch growers, who were responsible for that first year bloom.

But these are ALOT smaller. A few things I've considered: 1) Crowding. But I don't think that's it, mostly because the clumps blooming so far of this type actually seem very skimpy as far as foliage, too. 2) Rotting bulbs. We had a very wet 2009 here. Could alot of large bulbs have rotted, and I'm looking at blooms of immature bulbs? (My Dutch Masters seem to be pretty much the same size as last year, by the way.) 3) Moving. I did move these bulbs last summer, but I waited till the foliage was pretty well yellowed. (This is also the other reason I don't think they're that crowded.)

Ideas? Thanks in advance!

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

There is, of course, no way I know for certain but it's possible you planted a variety that doesn't much like the south. You are further north than I am, so this may not be such an issue for you, but I can assuredly tell you that in my area MANY of the larger trumpet daffodils will not persist more than 3 years or so. They don't get enough cold in the winter, nor do they like our damp ground in the summer.

Three that do well here are: Marieke, St. Keverne, and Ice Follies. If you plant more you might try these.

If you are interested, "Garden Bulbs for the South", by Scott Ogden is an excellent reference for all bulbs that do well (or not) here. It is geared more to the Deep South, but has lots of good information for all parts.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 5:05PM
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vvesper(7TN)

Thanks, donnabaskets. That is an interesting thought. We are in sort of a transition zone here. More like 6b-7a. We are too hot for cool season lawn grasses to be at their best - but too cool for warm-season lawn grasses to be at their best, for example.

I generally do try to buy varieties of plants that are good for the south, because they take the summer heat and humidity better. I know Ice Follies daffodils do very well here - I see tons of them. We have lots of others, too, of course, but it may be that the very wet year we've had, combined with our milder winters, was not good for this variety. I will check out that book, too. I've seen it mentioned elsewhere and have been wanting to take a look at it.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 8:16AM
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