Top 5 Reasons for Daffodils Not Flowering

Plants & Flowers

Daffodils are amazing plants for many gardens. They are relatively easy to grow, and they are known for their amazing flowers. However, what if your Daffodils won't give blooms? There are many reasons for Daffodils not flowering, so you need to identify the issue in order to solve it.

Daffodils Not Flowering - A Common Problem

Keep in mind that Daffodils not flowering is a relatively common issue. It happens to many gardeners, so chances are that it is not your fault. There are some key things you can do in order to make them bloom, but it is important to realize where the problem might be first.

These plants are generally among the first ones that bloom in the spring, so it can be very frustrating when this doesn't happen. Typically, people grow Daffodils from bulbs, because growing from seeds require manual pollination. It is also a much slower and time-consuming process, since it takes about 5 to 7 years for seeds to develop into flowers.

This is why Daffodils not flowering is typically an issue of something being wrong with the way bulbs are handled. In some cases, it could be due to bad growing conditions, planting bulbs at a wrong time, or it could be due to bulbs being damaged.

Why are Daffodils Not Flowering?

Here are the main reasons for your Daffodils not flowering:

Planting Bulbs at a Wrong Time

Keep in mind that Daffodil bulbs need specific time to grow. You need to plant them at the right moment in order for them to give flowers. Keep in mind that these are spring-flowering bulbs. In this sense, they need between 13 and 15 weeks of cold weather to bloom. It is important for them to be in temperatures between 35 and 45 degrees F in order to later produce flowers. If they don't get this chill time, they might not produce flowers at all.

This is why planting bulbs at the right time is so important. If you do it too late and close to the spring, the plants might not get enough cold time to bloom properly. To avoid this, always plant your bulbs in time.

If you were late with bulb planting, not all is lost. You can dig them up and check if they have shoots. If they do, put them back - they will soon grow and give flowers. But if there are no shoots, take them out of the ground and pot them in containers with a fresh potting mix, about 3 to 5 bulbs per pot. Make sure that the bulbs are just below the rim of the pot.

The next step is to place them in a cold area. A refrigerator might be a good way to go, or another place that is cold enough. Once per week, water them and keep them like this for 13 to 15 weeks. After this, transplant them back into the garden. You should see results with this approach and your Daffodils will bloom eventually.

Improper Growing Conditions

Another common reason for Daffodils not flowering are improper growing conditions. Keep in mind that your plants need proper amount of light and warmth to thrive. This is the only way to make them bloom. Proper drainage is another thing you need to ensure in order to have your Daffodils give flowers.

Make sure not to plant your Daffodils in a place that is soggy and waterlogged. This will increase the risk of fungal infections and other issues that can lead to bulb rot.

Also, you need to give your bulbs enough sunshine to thrive. Keep in mind that Daffodils can grow in partial shade, but they will not give flowers if they don't receive at least 6 hours of sunshine per day.

Poor Fertilizing Regime

Fertilizer issues can also be a reason for Daffodils not flowering. Keep in mind that your plants need some fertilizer to thrive, but too much of it is also detrimental to Daffodils producing flowers. This is particularly true if fertilizer is high in nitrogen.

You don't really need to fertilize bulbs in the first year - they will have all the nutrients and energy needed to produce blooms in the first year of their life. Later, make sure to fertilize only with a fertilizer that is not high in nutrient. You want some that has more phosphorus - this will encourage the flower production.

Pruning Too Soon

Pruning in an inappropriate time is another reason for Daffodils not flowering. Many times, people remove last year's foliage from their plants right after the final blossoms are spent. This can be detrimental for making your Daffodils flower.

Keep in mind that for about 6 weeks after the last blooms have faded, the plant works hard at building energy that it needs to flower again. This energy is stored in the leaves, so it is important for it to have enough leaves to do that. If you prune too soon after the last flowers are spent, you are depriving your plant from this energy.

In order to avoid this issue, make sure not to prune too soon. Keep watering your plant regularly and deadhead spent blooms to prevent seeding. You wish your Daffodils to keep all its energy into producing flowers for the next year.

Damaged Bulbs

Another issue for Daffodils not flowering may be bulbs that are damaged or diseased. Such plants will not be able to flower properly. Make sure to always inspect bulbs carefully to notice any traces of disease or other problems. For example, yellowing foliage might be a sign of a trouble.

The best way to check bulbs is by squeezing them gently. If they are soft, that is a bad sign. This is particularly true if the bulbs give between fingers. Such bulbs are unusable so you will need to get new ones to plant.

In other situations, they might not be unusable or seriously damaged, but still incapable of blooming. This is why it's so important to buy your Daffodil bulbs from reputable places only.

Photo credit: JenniKate Wallace

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