Do old bulbs produce foliage and no flowers?

redsox_gwApril 24, 2009

Not much experience with bulbs here but trying to get more involved. We inherited some bulbs with the house, mostly daff but some others too. A few clusters produced foliage and no blooms. Is this what happens when the bulbs get old and peter out? They still produce foliage? Some are in sunny spots so it can't be too much shade.

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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

In the case of daffodils, they are most likely not blooming because they are overcrowded. Dig them up once you're sure they're not going to bloom. Tease apart the bulbs and replant 5 inches apart and 5 inches deep. You may get a few blooms next year... but the year after will be absolutely stunning!

The picture below is what I got when I followed the above directions. The bulbs were so crowded, they were only the size of green onions. THe whole daffodil clump was only 10-12 inches across... but there were hundreds of bulbs in that clump. Now look at them:

Actually, I remember now that I only planted them 2 inches deep because I was in a rush. They pulled themselves down to their preferred depth. Easy.

If anyone knows what this daff is called, I'd appreciate a guess!

Certain bulbs may degrade with age and not produce any more flowers. What kinds of bulbs are the others?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 9:15PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

You could also add compost and a general fertiliser.

It won't solve the overcrowding but it will improve overall conditions. When you come to do the clump splitting do remember to put in plenty of well-aged compost to refresh the soil.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 12:46AM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

I would wait to dig them up until the foliage has begun to yellow. You can also use a low nitrogen fertilizer ~~~ sounds like they're crowded and starved.

Ladychroe ~~~ wow and double wow. I would love to know the name of your daff. I love the dainty cupped ones and that color combination is wonderful. Lucky You!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 1:22AM
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No need to wait, digging them up now is advantageous for best placement, and will not harm the bulbs. Just replant asap and water in. Bulbs are rock hardy.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 7:50AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I would definitely wait until the foliage is well faded, but can still be easily seen. If you dig them now with the foliage green, and reset them, they will not root in again this spring, and then run the risk of them rotting in warm moist soil over the spring, summer, and early fall.

I'd suggest you dig them, dry them spread out in an airy place out of the sun, and then store them cool and dry until the fall when the ground temps have cooled....again, planting them too early 'could' result in the bulbs being ruined by warm wet soil if planted too early and they don't break dormancy soon enough to root in.

Either way...digging now, or digging later will probably result in few blooms the first year (2010) as the small overcrowded) bulbs will likely need a season or two to grow up to blooming size.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 8:32AM
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