When customers come in during the spring and tell us that their daffodils failed to bloom during the second year after planting, we usually talk about three things that may be the cause. The bulbs may not have been fed, probably the foliage was cut off too soon after bloom the previous season, or it could be an insect called the Daffodil Bulb Fly which targets just daffodils.
However, there are some cultural requirements that should be addressed at planting time that will have an impact on a bulb's longevity. They are:
The soil can not be too alkaline or acidic. Bulbs require a neutral pH soil in order to develop a good root system.
For mature plantings, mother bulbs may have produced so many bulblets (offshoots) that they need to be dug up, separated, and replanted.
Inconsistent cold temperatures ( warm and cold spells) over the winter can prevent root growth.
Daffodils should be planted once the soil temperature has cooled down, but before a deep freeze so they can develop roots.
Bulbs planted in soil with poor drainage will rot.
Call or come visit Dr. Z to get the rest of your gardening questions answered!