daffodils not blooming well? reasons why

TOO THIRSTY, HUNGRY FOR NUTRIENTS, not allowed to “ripen” last year long enough, overcrowded–these are just a few of the reasons that Narcissus (and other bulbs) may be putting on a less-than-spectacular performance this spring, like the clump above with lots of leaves but only a single bloom. This quick FAQ gives all the reasons (or find out what to do about poorly flowering bulbs along with all kinds of other bulb answers on my bigger Flower-Bulb FAQs page).

  1. Laurie says:

    Too warm a winter?
    Not enough snow? (Not enough moisture, as the FAQ says)
    We’ve certainly had that here in Southwestern Michigan. The daffs are a little sparse and thready-looking.

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Laurie. I do think not enough chill period affects them, yes, you are so right. We probably had enough cold here this year in Zone B, even thought it wasn’t as cold as usual…and I say that because I see other cold-requiring plants like apple trees loaded with buds (so they had enough chill to set their flowers).

  2. tropaeolum says:

    I would also add the dreaded Daffodil Bulb Fly as a reason your narcissus did not bloom this year. They are an awful pest and becoming more and more common.

  3. Ann says:

    My daffodils always do well and yet my neighbor’s do not and he’s a master gardener. His wife thinks it’s because they water too much and it rots the bulbs. I tend to let nature water the plants except in the summer when we don’t get much rain.

  4. Melissa says:

    I moved into a house last fall, and there are massive clumps of daffodils everywhere. And by that, I think a crazy person with a shovel went around blindfolded planting bulbs. Can I successfully move these before they bloom? Or should I wait until they are done for the year (and continue to look like a crazy person’s yard) despite the headache it will cause while mowing? Also, you do lovely things, and have inspired me to spend a ridiculous amount of money this year. Thank you!

  5. Bonni B says:

    I have a very substantial stand of reticulated iris that have naturalized in a bed. I had maybe a dozen blooms this year. Very disappointed. Not cold enough, no enough snow here in Ulster County? Daffodils are fine.

  6. Sherri says:

    I have a clump in my main flowerbed that never blooms. I don’t water much in that bed, but I think it gets too much shade, will probably have to move it.

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Sherri — sorry I missed this comment till now! I have similar situations under some big trees here and must divide some bulbs, too!

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