Q&As/Bulbs and Tubers/Checking Your Bulbs

Question

My daffodils didn’t flower last year. Have they had it or can I feed them something?

Answer

It is strange that your daffodils have not flowered as the bulbs usually multiply each year and re-bloom. It’s best to investigate first, and then act. The bulbs may have been affected by something which has caused them to miss the season. Has there been any radical change where they are planted? For example earthworks, liquefaction or has the site been submerged underwater for an extended period of time? Were the green leaves cut back or damaged leading up to the season? These factors can all impact the daffodil plant flowering. 

If you know the approximate location of where they are planted, the best thing to do is to have a dig around and investigate what condition the bulbs are in. Pull up any bulbs you find and inspect them – if they are not looking healthy, for example rotted or infected by insects, then you will need to replace them.

If they are still in good condition, then look to replant them as soon as possible and perhaps move them to a different site if need be. Now is the best time to plant new bulbs or replant existing ones. Daltons has a Bulb Soil Mix specially formulated for planting bulbs in outdoor gardens or growing in containers. Dig this into your existing soil and mix well. After 8 weeks feed the bulbs with Daltons Bulb Fertiliser (follow guidelines on the packet). This will give the bulbs the best start and promote healthy, bright, beautiful flowers. 

TOP TIP:  Daffodils flower first, then green shoots appear which the plant uses for photosynthesis. The foliage then browns and some people cut it off too early - this is a major cause of reduced flower numbers in the next season. Be sure to leave the leaves to brown and die down naturally to protect the plant and ensure maximum nutrients have been stored for the next season’s flowering.

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