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My Daffodils don't look as good as other years!

Posted by summerstar Z7VA (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 22, 09 at 19:19

I'm wondering if other people in central Virginia are noticing their Daffodils aren't as beautiful this year. The flowers seem smaller in size; the tips of the leaves are dry; and the necks of some flower stems are bent down.

I think the tips of the leaves looking crispy might come from being singed or burnt by heavy frosts. And too I'm wondering if the lack of moisture this winter and spring has affected them. Anyone else out there noticed this? I have some Daffs that are later blooming and will see if they will exhibit the same problems.

Makes me wonder if I need to water the bulbs during periods when there's no rain. Never thought of that before . . .

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: My Daffodils don't look as good as other years!

  • Posted by nylisa alexandria, Va (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 22, 09 at 20:15

I only have a handful of flowers, which surprised me, and I am racking my brain to remember if I fertilized last year...

RE: My Daffodils don't look as good as other years!

Nylisa, do you mean you were surprised that only a handful of flowers came up from your Daffodils and you usually have more blooms? I didn't fertilize my Daffodils since I planted them three years ago and used Espoma's Bulb Tone then. I don't think you ABSOLUTELY have to fertilize EVERY year. I personally think it was the very cold temps and lack of rain . . . but I'm waiting to see other replies here.

Happy gardening!

RE: My Daffodils don't look as good as other years!

When daffodils get crowded after a few years in the same place without being divided, the bloom production will be much less. They're competing for the nutrients available and can't find enough to make those beautiful blooms. Also, if you cut back the foliage before it browned on its own last spring, they couldn't make enough food for the bulbs to store to produce blooms this spring.

The tip burn you see is most likely from a hard freeze after they came up. It won't kill them but makes them look not so nice. And yes, they will benefit from a watering when it gets bone dry. They don't like "wet feet" so don't let them stay saturated, either. (Is that a balancing act, or what? LOL)

The best thing you can do is to mark the places where they are, wait till fall, dig them up and replant them in good soil with better spacing. That's the best time to fertilize them, too. You CAN dig them after they die back this spring but don't disturb them now if you can help it. The foliage makes food this time of year for next year's blooms. A light dose of a liquid fertilizer applied now might help if it's watered in well but no guarantees. It might take a couple of years in a new spot to bring them back to full bloom.

Good luck with them. They're one of my favorite spring flowers. They always look so cheerful!


RE: My Daffodils don't look as good as other years!

All of mine keep getting picked! Its the first year for them (planted them last fall) so they're pretty sparse anyway, and my little garden is right across the street from a school bus stop and the kids keep picking the few daffs that have come up. Very upsetting, but I'm hoping that next year the display will be more impressive so that the kids picking a few here and there won't be as noticeable. I have yet to see one daff in my yard in full bloom (punk middle school kids!)

RE: My Daffodils don't look as good as other years!

My understanding is that bulbs get all their energy from the period after they bloom, so it could be last summer's drought-like conditions that affected them. Also, sometimes a maturing landscape gets shadier.
For kesflower, if you're there to see them, maybe all you need to do is be working out there when the bus unloads. Otherwise, pick them yourself and enjoy letting them unfurl indoors--at least you'll get to enjoy them that way.

RE: My Daffodils don't look as good as other years!

I should have two hundred flowers, but only got a dozen. Left the greens to turn brown last year, but may not have watered enough, and may not have fertilized. Got lots of healthy greens this year. They don't have wet feet, but might be crowded. They are in a shaded spot. This is the second year for them.

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