The Q&A Archives: No Flowers on Daffodils

Question: I have alot of greenery to my plants ,but no buds or flowers. Did I plant them too deep?

Answer: Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why daffodils might not bloom!

1. Bulbs have not been 'fed' in a couple of years (a broadcast of 5-10-10 granules at planting, when leaves emerge, and again at bloom is a reasonable feeding schedule.)

2. Feeding has been with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. (This encourages production of leaves, but seems to quell the plant's need for flowers.)

3. Bulbs are planted in a shady area. (Daffodils need an half-day of sun at least to produce flowers. If planted in partial sun, longer.)

4. Bulbs are in competition for food with other plants. (Planting under evergreen trees or with other fast-growing plants limits the food they can get. Result: weak plants and no flowers.)

5. 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.)

6. Bulbs may be stressed from transplanting. (Some varieties seem to skip a year of blooming if dug and replanted in a different environment. Some varieties bought from a grower in one climate may have a difficult period of adjustment to a vastly different climate. They may bloom the first year off the previous year's bulb, but then be unable to adequately build a flower for the following year.)

7. Growing conditions the previous Spring may have been inhospitable - the reformation of the bulb was affected. (An early heat wave may have shut down bulb rebuilding before it was complete. The bulbs may have be grown in a smallish pot without adequate feeding or protection from heat and cold.)

8. Bulbs may have been growing in the same spot for many years and need dividing. (Daffodil bulbs normally divide every year or two. This can result in clumps of bulbs that are competing for food and space. Commonly bulbs in compacted clumps cease blooming. Dig the bulbs when the foliage has yellowed. Separate them into individual bulbs and replant them about 6" apart and about 6" deep. You may replant immediately after lifting, or you may dry the bulbs in the shade, store them in mesh bags, and replant the bulbs in the Fall. If you replant immediately - do not water them until the Fall.)

Hope this information is helpful!

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