Daffodills Green but no Blooms - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Delvin Eberlein
Eau Claire, WI
Question by deberlei
May 12, 1999
I purchased daffodill bulbs from Burpee in 1997 and planted them that fall. In the spring of 1998 they bloomed. This spring they are up, tall and green and healthy looking, but have no buds or blooms. Could you please tell me what is wrong?

Answer from NGA
May 12, 1999


It's so disappointing when spring bulbs don't bloom! Non-blooming might be the result of cutting the foliage too soon last year. The leaves help manufacture energy for the bulb to produce a bloom. If the leaves are not allowed to naturally wither and die, the bulb may not be able to bloom the following year. Allow the foliage of your daffodils to die down, then dig the bulbs and replant them. Amend the soil with some organic matter and some bone meal (which is high in phosphorous) before replanting. Space bulbs 6" to 8" inches apart so you won't have to dig and replant them for another 3-4 years. Also, make sure they have enough fertility next year by applying a 10-10-10 fertilizer or a fertilizer formulated for bulbs in early spring to the plantings.

Other possibilities are that they are in too much shade (they should have at least 6 hours of sun/day) or are in a spot that is too damp.

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