Daffodils getting buds but the buds die before blooming

julespaApril 22, 2009


I have many different cultizers of daffodils. I have a few plants throughout my garden that look very healthy, get nice green leaves and healthy buds. When it is time for the buds to bloom they die. They don't even open leaving what looks like a empty shell of the bud. Does anyone have any suggestions on what is causing this? It doesn't seem to be one particular kind of daffodil although i can't remember what plants I planted where.


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I would suspect a condition called bud blast. It's caused by cold temperatures once the bud forms and some daffs are more sensitive to it than others. It seems like all the doubles are sensitive. I've only gotten a good bloom out of N. 'Manly' about 40% of the time over the last 15 years because of bud blast. I've removed most of them for this reason.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 10:13AM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

My doubles often get blasted, too. This year was a bad year for them. We had a long, chilly early spring, rather than a slow warm-up.

All my other daffodils did great, though. THey stayed fresh on thier stems for a long time, preserved by the chilly temps.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 7:59PM
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Jules, do you go along with the notion that its a weather problem...affecting all the plants--and then only all the buds?

You haven't said just what the age of these bulbs are---is this a new planting--a year old---or maybe one that is an aged number.

Just what might cause a bulb to not proceed to bloom--or to stop the production of bud after getting started.
What might cause any plant to not proceed to bloom.

The first impulse is to blame the plant. Were these bulbs all bought at the same time, from the same place.
There are natural causes that can affect bulbs and if one bulb at one dealer sells a bulb that is poorly produced, then one suspects any and all bulbs he sells might also be similarly badly produced.
Did you do something that caused the bulb to stop producing after the foliage came up. Last year, did you perhaps cut the foliage down right after bloom, causing the bulb to not proceed to take sugars and starches down into the bulb so it could produce the next year..(this year)
Twenty-one days is a reliable time to allow AFTER bloom for the foliage to be cut back and the juices sent down into the bulb.
To blame weather would suggest all areas you have the bulbs planted were affected in the same way...on all the bulbs.

Me, I think you should examine the bulb--dig up a few and see if roots have formed naturally--
When you planted them can make for a healthy bulb to proceed to roots. If they didn't produce sufficient roots, they cant produce sufficient growth---and may have just enough to proceed to foliage...but not enough to get to bloom stage.
Since I take it they were plnated all at the same time, then this possibility has merit....I think.

Suggstion. Buy some new bulbs from a different source...buy the biggest bulbs you can find --the bigger, the better.
Plant them among the other bulbs.....see if anything different happens.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 12:37PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I too suspect bud blast. It is more common with some varieties than it is with others.

Taken from the FAQ "Daffodils Not Blooming?" at the American Daffodil Society linked below: 6. Plant leaves were cut too soon or tied off the previous year. Daffodils replenish their bulb for about six weeks after they bloom. The bulbs should be watered for about this long after blooming. The leaves should not be cut off or blocked from sun until they start to lose their green and turn yellow. This signifies the completion of the bulb rebuilding process.)


Here is a link that might be useful: Daffodils Not Blooming?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 2:50PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I have a double white (White Medal) that has done this consistently ever since they were planted (4+ years). Big fat buds forming, would get me excitedÂthen they would never open. I cut some buds open to find them dry inside. These were from a good source, Scheepers. I got fed up last year and moved them (all I could find) to a side yard, where I wouldnÂt care if they bloomed or not. No prime garden spot for non-bloomers!
Sure enoughÂthis year it seems like I will get to see some open! Apparently I missed a few in the main bed. In the new location and in the old, a few are open now.

FWIW, some kinds of doubles donÂt do this: Bridal Crown and the Cheerfulness varieties I have never had a problem with.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 12:09AM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

Indeed, in my garden it is hit or miss with most of my doubles, no matter where they are planted, or where or when they were bought. I always leave the foliage to ripen. That's why I suspect it may be a weather problem.

Thanks for the recommendations for non-blasting doubles, linnea! I will put them on my list.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 8:09PM
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