Question from Pamela in Sarnia
For years, I have planted daffodils in the fall. They bloom the next spring and then never bloom again. I have never had one re-bloom. Any explanation ?
Daffodils are generally reliable bloomers. A bonus is that they’re unpalatable to deer, squirrels and rabbits, which often treat a display of spring-blooming bulbs as their personal salad bar.
Here’s a checklist of what keeps daffodils happy from year to year:
- A sunny location. They will tolerate part shade, but produce fewer flowers in shade.
- Well-drained soil. Like most bulbs, they dislike sitting in soggy soil, especially in summer.
- Proper planting depth. Make sure there is about three inches (8 cm) of soil over the top of the bulbs at planting time. Space standard-size daffodils two to three inches (5 to 8 cm) apart.
- Allow the leaves to fully ripen after plants bloom. Don’t remove the foliage or braid it, cut it or trim it until most of the leaves have yellowed and died back. This is hard for most people to do — daffodil foliage begins to look ratty after the flowers are finished, but this is the stage when bulbs are bulking up for next season’s bloom. It’s fine to remove the flower stalks, but leave the leaves alone.
You mention that your daffodils flowered the first year after planting, but then not again. Because the bulbs you planted had already produced what they needed to bloom the following spring, you had beautiful flowers that first spring. However, if the foliage was removed before it had a chance to ripen — or there was too much shade, soggy soil, etc. — then they wouldn’t have been healthy enough to produce flowers in their second year.
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