valchic(8/Texas)March 12, 2011

I planted 600 daffodils I purchased from a Top 5 Garden Watchdog nursery. They looked fine when I received and planted them, but only around 25 of them bloomed.

I purchased another 300 daffodils from a different online nursery, and they all bloomed. They were also around 1/5 the price as the daffodils that didn't bloom, and much smaller.

I planted them at the same time, on the same day, only the ones that didn't bloom were planted in front of the daffodils that did bloom. That is how I can tell which were which. Needless to say the front yard looks a little odd having massive blooms in one section, and 25 blooms in the front.

I have been planting daffodils, tulips, roses, and other perennials for the last 26 years, and have never had this happen before. I planted them at least 6" deep, with the proper spacing, and fertilized when planting.

What is the problem? Should I dig them up? Thanks!

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I don't think there is a problem. Daffodils are close to being a bullet proof plant, but don't expect every shipment to perform identical. In my zone and your zone they will get better every year until they get so crowded they will have to be separated. Hasn't that been your experience in the past? I surely would not dig them up, and I have never found they needed ANY fertilizer. Al

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 11:28AM
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Have you considered that maybe the ones that haven't bloomed just haven't bloomed "yet"? Maybe they are a later variety. Although my yard is a mass of many kinds of daffodils and other narcissus, there are some which haven't bloomed yet. They will....they just come a bit later to make the daffy season last longer....


    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 11:40AM
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Let's hope the reasons given above are what's holding up your bulbs but....by all means do get in touch with the people who sold you the bulbs and tell them your story.
They either will come up with a reasonable excuse, or they will offer you replacement bulbs...either way, you have nothing to lose.
There are other reasons why a bulb doesn't grow. Planted upside down is one reason. Mostly when you cant tell, plant sideways; they know which end is up.
The drainage in the area is not very good...and the bulbs rotted.
They didn't form roots which is necessary to go further.
Vermin got into the patch, while they don't like to dine on them, they can disturb the planting which might delay their coming up or worse.

Let's hope for the best.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 5:36PM
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I would definitely call the place you bought the bulbs from. Most places offer a guarantee and that sounds like a large scale to have none of them bloom. It could be that they were damaged in transport. If they were left in the hot sun, depending on how long they were left there it could have ruined all but the center of the package bulbs by drying them out. I know there are some late blooming varieties... but in your zone I would expect them to at least be showing some signs of life by now unless they were specific types meant to bloom in fall. You could dig one up and see if it looks like it's working - I know that would be my answer to the curiosity. Just be careful when you dig so you don't damage anything if it is coming up.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 8:33AM
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Never had this problem, please let us know what the people say.
Let us know if they bloom late.
Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 12:55PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I purchased another 300 daffodils from a different online nursery, and they all bloomed. They were also around 1/5 the price as the daffodils that didn't bloom, and much smaller.
Is it possible that the shipments got switched before they were planted and the more expensive ones are the ones that actually bloomed?
Were both groups of 300 of the exact same cultivar, or were they both mixes? Is there any real way to be sure which is which? What cultivars were planted? If they were mixes, it could be that the mix in the back is all early cultivars, and the ones in the front contain a mixture of more late blooming cultivars. If you part the foliage on the non/bloomers and look down inside of it, can you maybe see a bud way down there, that hasn't emerged much yet?

It has been a week since your original post. Have there been any additional ones bloom in the bad blooming group of 300?

I'm just kind of thinking out loud here. Daffodils need not be all that big and robust to bloom. I'm wondering if maybe something is going on with the front of the planting area. Is it higher, or lower, or nearer to a tree, thus competing with tree roots? Are they all in full sun? I'm wondering too if a vole, mole, chipmunk, or some other burrowing critter disturbed or dug under the ones in the front of the bed. Though nothing eats them, critters can do damage by their digging alone.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 4:48PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Are you sure they aren't just a later variety? I've got daffs in my yard that bloom over a three month period, the later ones don't even have much foliage up at this time....

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 11:59PM
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Thank you all for your comments. My daffodils are pretty much done, as well as the tulips. Once it starts over 80 degrees, the bulbs blow out pretty quickly here.

When I wrote that only 25 bloomed, I should have stated that only 25 grew leaves and then bloomed. The rest didn't even bother to come up with leaves!

When I planted the bulbs I also planted other bulbs in the same hole. The other bulbs were grape hyacinths, ipheion (starflower), and tulips. I dig an 8" hole and group the bulbs in layers, so that I have them all come up at the same time at different heights. The grape hyacinths, ipheions and tulips came up and bloomed, but the daffodils did not. With the cheaper bulbs, the daffs as well as the hyacinths, ipheions and tulips all bloomed.

The daffodils were massive bulbs too, while the cheaper bulbs were probably half the size. I know where I planted each type of daffodil, and from which seller, since I put the bigger "better" bulbs in a place of honor in front, since I expected them to look the best. Plus I maintain a notebook where I map out where I plant things. I consider it good planning, so I can see what works best. My teenager considers it obsessive compulsive.

We don't have voles, moles, or chipmunks here, but we do have armadillos, but not in my yard. (Cross my fingers and knock on wood there!). You know when you have armadillos, since they can destroy a yard in no time. They don't just pick a few bulbs and move on. They plow up the whole yard!

I have huge quantities of squirrels, since I feed the birds in the middle of my driveway, so the neighborhood cats can't sneak up on them. The squirrels help themselves too, so they are pretty tame, and love me dearly. They do try planting acorns in my beds, but I don't think they would eat daffodils, and I don't see how they would eat the poisonous daffs and leave the other 3 bulbs behind 575 times.

I believe I will contact the seller and see what they have to say.

If I can figure out how to post a photo, I will add pictures, since it is kind of funny to see the empty spots.

I will let you all know what happens. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 10:00PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

That's quite a dissapointment. I wonder what really did happen. It sounds like you got some bad bulbs, but I think if it was so widespread you would have noticed while planting them.... plus as Al pointed out daffs are close to bulletproof so even if there was an issue, they should have at least sprouted.

Try digging up a few, I'm wondering if they did anything at all as far as rooting goes, or if the bulbs just rotted. Definately call the seller. Sounds like it's time to test the 5 star rating!

Do you think the variety may not have been suited to a zone 8 "winter"?..... not that I'm jealous of your blooms and 80 degree weather....(as I look outside at snow this morning)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 10:04AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

One possibility comes to mind. It's possible that you planted the daffodils too deeply. Here in the Deep South, it is recommended that you plant daffodils only about half the depth that they are planted further north. I experienced this a number of years ago when I planted 500 Thalia at 8 inches deep in unprepared clay soil. Only a handfull came up...

On the other hand, if you planted the others at the same depth and they DID bloom....

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 9:40PM
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I just saw this thread again and I thought you might want a follow up to know that the bulbs did NOT come up in 2012. I thought they might have just taken "a year off", but no, I think they just didn't like Texas.

Needless to say, I haven't purchased more bulbs from them, and the new bulbs I put in in 2012 bloomed just fine. I planted different varieties in the same place to see if maybe it was a variety issue, and the same varieties in a different place to see if it was a specific part of the garden issue. Different varieties planted in the same spot bloomed just fine. The same varieties in a different spot bloomed just fine, so who knows what it was. I have always planted Geranium, Thalia, Ice Follies, Cheerfulness, Falconet, Grand Primo without a problem, so who knows.

I guess I must have gotten a bad batch or something. I let the merchant know, but never requested a refund or reship, since he thought they might still come up, or maybe the next year (2012). Since that didn't happen, do you think it would be too late to request a refund or reship?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 6:09PM
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