The Q&A Archives: Bulbs that don't blossom

Question: Every spring I have several Daffodils that send forth their stems, and the blossom bud but never open and just dry up. What causes this to occur?

Answer: Daffodils are one of those lovely spring bulbs that grow with varying degrees of success in the low desert. Often they are treated like annuals because they don't return reliably as they will in other growing regions. Some other things to consider: Very dry soil can cause the buds to dry out rather than open, and sometimes buds that are exposed to extremely cold weather, such as during wildly fluctuating spring weather, can fail. Another possible cause is excessively hot weather during the bloom time. Sometimes, if the daffodils are not planted deep enough the flower can be damaged inside the bulb due to temperature extremes. And some varieties -- such as those that have many extra petals -- will sometimes open only partially. You might also check if the bulbs you buy are pre-chilled or require chilling in the refridgerator. I hope these ideas help!

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