Ask a Question forum: Improving health of rescued Daffodils

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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
May 8, 2014 9:06 AM CST
I posted this in Bulbs but it didn't get any action. Maybe someone can help me

I have dug several large clumps of Daffodils, all different varieties from my neighbors yard that is being cleaned out to return to, horrors, just lawn Rolling on the floor laughing

I dug them up while they were blooming. Some clumps had tons of blooms, some had only one or two. I cleared off all the soil, and other junk I did not want. I cut off the blooms. I left the foliage. I potted them up giving them each more room.

My plan is to plant them out in the fall and just store them outside in the pots over the summer. What can I do for them to keep them healthy? Fertilize now? If so, with what.

When I plant them in the fall fertilize then? Use bonemeal? And how do I use it. I read somewhere NOT to put it in the hole because it will harm/burn the bulb.

Thanks for any help!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
May 8, 2014 9:19 AM CST
They should do just fine. Yes to fertilizing them now. But go lightly so as not to burn the foliage. The foliage should grow for a little longer then die off. Dormant period is in the summer for daffs. So a shot of half strength soluble fert might be just the ticket.

The healthy foliage makes the new bulbs you will plant in the fall. The more good foliage you have the nicer the bulbs will be. But don't be concerned when the foliage dies off gradually in a month or two. (depending how quickly the weather gets hot) The bulbs make new roots over the winter before they start putting up leaves. I have never fertilized them in the fall, but some people like adding bonemeal into the planting holes. Daffs naturalize, return and multiply with no help if they like the location you give them.I like to plant them under deciduous trees so that the blooms last a bit longer. In full sun they are so fleeting.

Also, don't water too heavily over the summer, the bulbs could rot if they are kept too wet. Maybe set the pots where they will just get whatever rain falls, not where your sprinklers will water heavily. If you have a long hot spell with no rain you may want to water them lightly.
Elaine

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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 8, 2014 9:23 AM CST
The bone meal should be...

...wait, I got ahead of myself. (I have zone 6 experience; the rules may be different in other zones)
I'm pretty sure you can go ahead and plant the daffodil clumps into the ground. There may be a one year lag in any decent flowering while the bulbs readjust, but it would be less work for you and better for the bulbs if they were in the ground.

Okay, the bone meal should be applied to the surface of the soil and scratched in to the top inch of soil around each clump of daffodil plants.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
May 8, 2014 9:26 AM CST
Thank you Elaine! I'll fertilize with some Neptune's Harvest

I set the pots up against the house where they are partially under an overhang. They will get some rain if it blows. But I also can monitor them and give a bit of water if they get too dry.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
May 8, 2014 9:28 AM CST
Thank you Greene!

I can't plant them into the ground right now because I haven't made the new beds they will be going into! Hilarious! I will put some into existing beds but I have to plant out my perennials first and the way the weather has been here I'll have to wait until the end of May!!

Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
May 8, 2014 9:49 AM CST
And don't cut or trim off the foliage before it turns yellow, browns and dies back. That's how they get their energy for the next bloom season.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
May 8, 2014 9:53 AM CST
Thanks Tee! They all have great foliage. I'll be sure to leave it alone
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
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SongofJoy
May 8, 2014 10:15 AM CST
Thumbs up
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
May 9, 2014 6:27 PM CST
Ok, my neighbor dug up some bulbs to give me but accidentally cut off the foliage Sad
Should I not even bother with the bulbs without foliage?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
May 9, 2014 6:52 PM CST
Someone, somewhere, told me tat "all bulbs need great drainage". Now that I think about it, that sounds like an over-generalization.

Or maybe they meant that "our soil is such heavy clay that bulbs, like most things, need greatly improved drainage in our area".

What would you say about daffodils? Do they need average drainage, good drainage, or "anything except solid clay"?

In my PNW beds, very few came back the second year and almost none the third year. Dry cool summers (but I water) and rainy or drizzly the rest of the year (but mild winters with a lot of cycling around 32F).
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
May 10, 2014 2:02 AM CST
Being they are freebies, Jennifer, I'd plant them. Without the leaves, they most likely won't be as vigorous or produce as good a display next year, but you should get some flowering. After that, the leaves can be left to die back naturally. Thumbs up
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

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