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Daffodils in danger

Posted by Auron22 6b (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 17:44

Here in northwest ohio we had unusually warm days about a month ago, i think that is what made all my daffodils come up. Almost all of them stopped or slowed down a lot, but one cluster next to my house grew like crazy and is getting ready to bloom already! Anyway, the nights are below freezing and windy. I noticed some brown at the ends, and a couple leaves are limp. I'm doing an emergency transplant. I placed the cluster (with soil) in a bucket. They were never divided anyway, so i will do that too. I inheritted them, they could be 5-30 years old.

My question is, is i okay for them to stay in a bucket and brought indoors for the night? This will go on for about 2 weeks minimum. It's 70 degrees in the house. This daffodil is stubborn...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Daffodils in danger

Daffodils are exceptionally hardy and won't die because of a little cold. If they minded the cold they likely wouldn't be so silly as to come up and bloom in the chilly spring :-) They would have been just fine if you had left them in the ground. If it were me I would put the bucket of daffs in a similarly protected site outside and replant after blooming (not cutting down the foliage until died back).

I've had late frosts while my tulips were in bloom and they were fine. The blooms/stems froze and the flowers were bent over touching the ground, but as soon as the sun defrosted those turkeys they were perky again and looking good.
CMK


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RE: Daffodils in danger

probably the worst thing you could have done..

you should have just got a box from the grocer and covered them every night ...

i say go put them back.. and quit trying to out think mother nature .. i have tried this for 30 plus years.. she always wins ....

they are not houseplants ....

and a bucket infers no drainage.. and if there is absolutely one thing bulb plants hate.. is no drainage..

seriously.. go put them back ... and so what if they lose the bloom.. there is always next year ...

and after you put them in the ground.. run a little masking tape around them.. so they dont flop over ... and as soon as the roots start pumping water again.. the tape will fall off in a week or two ...

ken


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RE: Daffodils in danger

  • Posted by Dgregory 6A - So.Central IL (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 15, 13 at 19:34

I agree with christinmk. They really are super hardy. Mine have been up (about 4") since late January and couple of them bloomed during a warm spell about 5 weeks ago. It has snowed on them, been well below freezing several days and they're still perking along. Yes, the silly things have some brown tips, but they are resilient spring flowers.

Put the bucket full you've dug in a cold garage or outside, beside a structure, under eaves where they won't stand in water. They'll be fine to put back in the ground when you can dig again.

After mine bloom, to tidy up their straggly look, I gather a fist full of foliage together like a pony tail, bend them over and tie them with garden twine. The garden looks less messy, emerging fern and other plants begin showing up, the daffodil foliage remains to develop the roots/bulbs for next year and eventually will dry up and disappear for summer.
:-)
Deb


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RE: Daffodils in danger

Thanks for the info guys. It is currently outside in the bucket in an even more protected area. I was wondering how hardy those flowers really were, but the brown tips worried me. I'm relieved they will not be harmed. Gonna "divide and conquer" these fellas after the blooms are spent. I'd rather have them circling the two old sugar maples in my front yard rather sitting at the corner of our house in the back. Can't wait till spring, going to whip my yard into shape. I moved in this house a year and a half ago, there are quite a few daffodils but none of them are in a nice spot...Think ferns and hostas will be friendly towards them? Probably should make a new thread since this one is pretty much case closed.


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RE: Daffodils in danger

We had a surprise cold snap last week with temps below freezing and a biting east wind. The daffodils here are in full bloom. They flopped a bit but now are standing up as straight as ever. I would replant them asap and hope you haven't spoiled your chances of them flowering successfully. Were the 'brown tips' papery? If so they could just be the scapes which are always brownish.

Here is a link that might be useful: Daffodil scape


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RE: Daffodils in danger

I agree with those who suggest that you plant them back asap. True, also that you shouldn't have disturbed the bulbs and that they should not languish in a bucket of dirt that might freeze and thaw. If these bulbs get soggy ---- goodbye daffodils. Luckily, though, narcissus are really tough. You might not get as many flowers this season, but they'll survive and bloom on in other years.

Being generally early bloomers, daffodils come up before the trees leaf out here in New England. I think they provide great early "sunshine" in the garden. But I'd caution you about planting them among ferns. I did that years ago in my first garden --- not realizing that some ferns spread via runners. Sad to say, I lost all of my daffodils in that area because they got choked out. If you plant them with your Hostas, just be aware of the ultimate spread of the hosta plants.

Molie


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RE: Daffodils in danger

Freezing won't hurt the plants. If the flowers are fully out, you might find they don't look as good or last, but otherwise, no problem. Even buds will open after a freeze. Get those babies back in the ground! I also never divide mine. I just pick the flowers and end up with even more the nexrt year.


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RE: Daffodils in danger

Being generally early bloomers, daffodils come up before the trees leaf out here in New England. I think they provide great early "sunshine" in the garden.

I so love daffodils for this very reason! I have lots planted in what becomes significant shade by the end of May. And so the yellow looks surprising, so cheery for these areas which will show little flower colour during the summer.

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Mar 17, 13 at 8:34


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RE: Daffodils in danger

Auron, as several posters have pointed out, your worry about the Daffs was unnecessary. They are super hardy and won't die because of a few brown tips or limp leaves.

I have transplanted Daffs at every stage of growth, from emerging, to mid-flowering, to dieback and they do just fine. The sooner you divide and re-plant them the better, as long as the soil is workable. I usually add a little organic bulb fertilizer to the planting hole at transplant for most bulbs, especially Narcissus which is very long-lived.

Another great thing about Daffodils, is that no critters bother them because they are poisonous. Deer love tulips and the dang voles will eat just about every bulb under the sun except for narcissus.


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RE: Daffodils in danger

Amen, Terrene, about narcissus vs. voles. Those beasts will not touch daffodils but they LOOOVE tulips!

As a novice gardener living near woods, I once foolishly planted hundreds of tulips. Lost all but a few of those tulips to voles. I learned that voles would travel along the tunnels that had been forged by moles looking for Japanese beetle grubs in my gardens. Because the grubs were nestled just below the surface in the garden areas, the voles had a direct route to my flowers. Funniest thing I ever saw was one red tulip and part of its stem sticking up from a hole in the ground. I always figured that it was a vole who had come back for dessert.

After that it was all daffodils all of the time for me.

Molie


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RE: Daffodils in danger

".....Another great thing about Daffodils, is that no critters bother them because they are poisonous ...." Not, unfortunately, to slugs. If you live in a sluggy area they will climb the stems and eat the flowers off before they even open. Also hyacinths and snowdrops. But not, in my experience crocus. It's heartbreaking watching the buds begin to show yellow only to lose them overnight.


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RE: Daffodils in danger

Daffs have a unique ability to create a type of "antifreeze" which protects them when the weather gets cold. They will be fine, as will all the other spring flowering bulbs, and hellebores, etc. They know how to keep themselves warm.


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RE: Daffodils in danger

I had some daffs blooming the last week of January, some blooms are still hanging on. Other daffs are blooming now, temps got below 20 a couple of nights, didn't stop them a bit.


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RE: Daffodils in danger

Regarding a previous poster's recommendation to tie up the dying foliage. This is against current horticultural thinking so I wouldn't do it if I were you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Daffodil don'ts


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RE: Daffodils in danger

I allow 6 weeks after flowering for the bulbs to regenerate (or whatever they do) before cutting the narcissii (narcissus, narcisii, daffs) back to the ground.
I remember seeing daffs neatly tied into little knots??

To compensate for my general slovenliness (which I claim is good for insect life), I take considerable pleasure in bending my ripe onion stems - all in the same direction on the ground.


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RE: Daffodils in danger

It is snowing here today :( Kinda neat seeing green in the snow though. I have not put them back yet, still doing fine in the bucket. Probably going to wait for the blooms to be spent, then seperate.

flora uk - I learned the same thing about messing with daffodil leaves, that even the stem that supports the flower has a similar function as the leaves and not to cut that either if you can help it. It's the main reason why i'm going to try and partner them with something to hide the leaves when they are about to go dormant. Not that i think it would kill the plant if i did tie up or cut the leaves, but is said to reduce the following years vigor.


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RE: Daffodils in danger

I know the OP has got her answer, but just wanted to add my experience. Some of my daffys are up. Saturday it was in low 50' and I was working in my garden in a sweatshirt. Yesterday, I'm laying in bed watching the birds eat millet on my porch rail while they avoid the rain. And then I notice it's no longer raining -- it's SNOWING !! Nothing major because I'm near the coast. Around here, snow is rare. So it was gone by this AM. But my point is -- daffys are still just as perky as before the snow....lol.

However, I was surprised but glad to learn about NOT tying the foliage up (or braiding it). Maybe THAT is why I never get as many blooms as everyone else??? That, or as my neighbor told me....maybe I planted them too shallow?

Whatever the case, THIS year I won't be tying them in neat little knots.....lol.

Thanks,
Bonnie


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