Q&As/Bulbs and Tubers/Growing Daffodils

Question

My daffodil bulbs have all sprouted but none of them have a flower - they look like big spring onions! What’s gone wrong?

Answer

There are a few things which may have caused the lack of flowers. Firstly, were the leaves cut off last season before they had died down naturally? This can considerably impair future flowering. 

The bulbs could have been planted too deep - this is particularly significant if the soil is heavy and becomes waterlogged over the dormant Winter months. Alternatively, if the bulbs were planted too shallow, this can lead to dwarfed plants. Daffodils have a preference for well drained, fine textured soil. If planting in sandy or heavy clay soils, add significant amounts of compost and thoroughly work in to the existing soil to improve drainage. It’s important the daffodil bulbs receive a top dressing of compost and side dressings of Daltons Premium Bulb Fertiliser during the growing season. 

If this is the bulb’s first season, then the lack of flowers could be because they were of poor quality or old. They should therefore be removed and replaced with new healthy bulbs as soon as they become available early next year. Bigger bulbs at purchase time usually relate to better flowering - at least in the initial years.

All bulbs also need a cold Winter to flower well so ensure you plant them at the correct time of year. If you divided your existing daffodil bulbs during the Winter months, it is quite possible that in their first year of growth, many of the smaller bulbs will not produce significant blooms. Do not attempt to transplant these bulbs, rather let them remain in the ground and flowering should be far better next season.

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