The Q&A Archives: Non-Blooming Bulbs

Question: What causes bulbs to send up the green leaves but no blossom? We planted daffodils and irises. Both sent up great greenery but no flower.

Answer: Daffodils get their energy for next year's bloom from this year's foliage. It's possible that the leaves were removed from the bulbs last year while it was still green. It's also possible that the bulbs just weren't mature enough to bloom. Leave the foliage on until it dies back naturally, to allow the bulb to receive and store as much energy as possible for next year's bloom. Iris require full sunshine and should be planted just at the soil surface. If yours were planted too deeply, it would affect their ability to bloom. Dig up and replant your iris if necessary, and make sure they're well watered during the summer. They should bloom for you next spring.

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