The Q&A Archives: Fertilizing Daffodils And Tulip Plants

Question: Should any kind of fertilizer be applied to daffodil and tulip plants after they have been established in our garden? We initially planted all our bulbs with bone meal and they have done very well but seem a bit scarce this year and not as healthy.

Answer: Daffodils and tulips do best if given some phosphorus in the fall when they begin rooting, and then some complete fertilizer in the spring just as they poke through the soil. To maintain bloom production, the bulbs need to grow and ripen their foliage every year, and they need to lifted and divided when they become crowded. It is also true that some varieties tend to be more long lived than others, and some may deteriorate over time no matter what you do. This is particularly true of many tulips.

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