Why are my daffodils not blooming?

grandma_gardener_02April 9, 2010

We have daffodils that have beautiful leaves, but no flowers. Anybody know why? In other yards they are blooming profusely.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

are they new??? .. did you plant quality bulbs ...


planted last fall???

any further info might help ...

could they have been sprayed with lawn chems last year???

anything change in the garden since last year???


    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 1:03PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Do they need division? Or feeding with a good bulb food?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 6:12AM
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No buds at all? Did you just plant them last fall and were they mature bulbs? If they were off sets, they may need to mature another season.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 7:11AM
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Did someone cut the leaves or run over them with a lawn mower? That will keep them from blooming.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 5:13PM
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Did you check for buds? Because also depends on the varieties. I have some blooming now, but some are not in bloom yet. The poeticus ones won't bloom until the end of the month or May.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Down here in zone 4, most daffodils JUST started blooming.

Patience Grasshoppah!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 11:16PM
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Hey everybody,

To answer questions. The bulbs were planted in 2007 and bloomed well in 2008 and last year [although late last year]. They are in a bed, not in any grassy area. No buds. In past have bloomed in April. Don't know the specific variety. Got them from a bin at a reliable nursery. Have never tried bulb food. What is it and what is it called?

Thanks for all the questions to help me. I'll look forward to any other insight.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 12:00PM
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gonativegal(zone 5a)

Another point to add is that bulbs prefer to have it dry during their dormant months which is largely summer through early fall - this corresponds with the seasons of their point of origin which is primarily western Asia and the Mediterrean.

So if you are heavily watering the bed(s) in the summer because you've mixed in annuals (like impatiens) and/or perennials with high water requirements this will also diminish blooming and vigour as they need a dry rest period during the summer time followed a few good soakings in the fall just before the onset of winter.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 6:46PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I have the same variety of daff*odil planted in mostly sunny b*eds and some in shady b*eds that only get a couple of hours of sun in the morning. I don't get much bloom on those in the shady b*eds. Only a few blooms in a whole patch of foliage. Those in the sunny areas bloom their heads off and increase every year. I never fer*tilize my daffodils.

I also wanted to mention that someone suggested a variety of daff*odil to me that reliably increases and I have to say, it really does. 'Ice Follies' has increased from an original 50 bulbs to 150 bulbs this year. They have been planted about 4 years.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 6:29AM
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Thanks everyone. Will make sure I don't overwater. I think that might be a factor. I have watered in that area because of other plants. So will be more careful this year. I might also try some bulb food. Asked a local nursery here and she said that would be a good idea. I think they are getting enough sun.
Don't think I would like to replace what I have with another variety unless we just have no luck with what we have.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 10:36AM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Don't cut back foliage early. It needs to yellow of its own accord before cutting back. Even though unsightly, those leaves are making food for next year's blooms.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 8:31PM
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My daffodils are 2 years old and have not bloomed.Why?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:52AM
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I have thousands of daffodil bulbs, some clumps that have been there for 20 years or more. They always bloom reliably, but this year blooms were sparse. Not sure why, might have had to do with the drought we had last fall, or the winter we had. The mid-season daffs were affected the most. Early ones were fine, and late-season ones that are blooming now have heavy flowers. I'm going to divide some of the heavier clumps and spread them around more, and see what happens next spring.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 12:24PM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

Think basically what Grandma was asking, as well as myself is -- if they've done fine in the past, in same area, with basically same watering throughout year -- nothing's changed -- then why THIS year didn't they bloom? Cuz I had somewhat of the same problem. Lots of leaves but hardly any blooms. Doubt it's overcrowding since they've only been in 2 to 3 years. Or is that when you DO need to divide?

Also had same problem with 1 yr old tulips. Leaves but no blooms. Not even a stalk for a bloom to start on??? But that's probably another post....LOL

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 2:03PM
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Having given it a bit more thought, I remember prolonged record heat last summer. It might just be that the heat killed the flower buds, which are formed while the leaves are growing in late summer and early spring. I know that heat from manure compost can do that, which is why you should not put a layer of manure compost over a bulb bed.

I do know that with tulips, when they get hot, they divide very quickly and all you get are very small bulbs that won't bloom again for a few years but will still put up a lot of leaves. That is why you need to plant tulips at least twice the recommended depth to keep them perennial, according to my Dutch bulb grower friend, especially where summer temperatures are over 90 degrees. Planting them deeper keeps them cooler so they don't divide as fast.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 3:05PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I was thinking the same thing. Some of my daffodils are underperforming this year. My old established groups of 'Ice Follies' and 'Ceylon' are doing their usual great job, but newer varieties that have only been in the ground for a year or two have few flower buds and no increase in size from last year as I would have expected. I was thinking it might have been either the significant drought conditions I had last summer or the 5 feet of snow covering the garden all winter.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 5:38AM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

Sometimes you just get duds. I waited several years for a large patch to bloom and they never did. I finally gave up, dug them out and planted new bulbs. Also, be careful you don't plant too deep. I don't go beyond 6 inches and that seems to work the best. There are so many varieties and the climate also has an effect. Mine are just beginning to bloom now. Last year they were up and blooming by April.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:49PM
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