Likewise, I have a pot of "Minnow" Narcissus that were great last year but this year have produced plenty of luxuriant foliage and no flowers.
I also have a pot containing 5 "Delnashaugh" speciality Daffodils. Last year all five bloomed, but this year there are only 3 flowers, and one of those (still in tight bud) looks disappointingly small:
The complex "apricot-and-white" flowers of this variety are very attractive - but I just wanted MORE of them!
All these bulbs were left in their pots all year after flowering and I just added a bit of fresh compost on top in the Autumn. Is it this that has caused poor performance, I wonder? Should I have removed the bulbs and re-planted them? I am tempted to believe that this is the reason, but then why were my "Tete-a-Tete" Daffodils so good, when they were treated in exactly the same way?
Do you have a theory on this? If so, I would like to know it please.
I'm no daffodil expert but I hear that without enough sun they don't bloom well. But if they got a lot of sun and if the soil gets too hot over the summer, the bulbs can divide a lot and not get big enough to produce flowers - just a lot of foliage. The latter could be a big issue with dark pots.ReplyDelete
That's very interesting to know, Daphne. I plan on planting quite some daffodils in pots, this coming autumn; Mark has inspired me when he stated in an earlier post that he moves the pots around to decorate different parts of the garden. It's also convenient when you want to hide the pots, once they have flowered. I will remember the hot soil and dark pots.Delete
As you know, some of the daffodils I planted in a container in autumn came up blind. I did a bit of reading on the subject online and there seems to be many different theories, poor quality bulbs, bad drainage, lack of water, planted at the wrong depth, overcrowded, grown in shade, the list goes on. I don't suppose we'll ever know the true cause of why they don't flower, it's just a case of trying again and hoping for the best.ReplyDelete
Not that I usually have this problem but sometimes if the soil is too good they don't bloom but produce foliage instead. Maybe the compost was just too much for some of them. I kind of like Daphne's idea better though. Maybe you should remove them and separate some of them out. Maybe there are just too many bulbs now per pot.ReplyDelete
I've always heard lack of flowering in bulbs is usually due to overcrowding. But last year we had a horrible daff season with hardly any blooming (all of mine are in the ground). This year is perfect. I have no idea what happened last year.ReplyDelete
Oh no, I wonder if they did get to squashed. I haven't tried bulbs in pots before but had planned to later on this year.ReplyDelete
You pose some good questions. And some good comments above. Our NI Saturday morning gardening programme mentioned this week not to pick dafs as this prevents them from flowering. Suppose the list of potential causes is endless.ReplyDelete
I think the most likely reason for your disappointment Mark happened last year. They must be allowed to completely die down and should be given a light sunny position while doing so and also kept properly watered and otherwise maintained. I expect you managed to do all these things Mark, but I do know many gardeners just forget them after flowering in a out of the way dark corner corner and merely let them yellow. The leaves need to work hard after flowering. Sufficient nutrient as fertiliser should also have been given. I do not buy the idea that yours had it too rich. Often after a poor year they do better the next so good luckReplyDelete
I left all my tete a tete in their pots last year and they all came back beautifully but a lot of the large daffs in the borders didn't come back at all - I read today that they should be dug up and replanted if they come up blind whether this applies to those in pots as well I'm not sure.ReplyDelete
Your double petal daffodil looks so stunning!ReplyDelete
When they are grown in the beds where they have far more space and soil nutrients to grow, they do better than in the pots. If I were you, I would wait until the leaves turn yellow - it is necessary to leave the foliage to die naturally because the bulbs need to gather strength for the next season. You can give them some fertilizer as well. When the foliage dies, pull the bulbs all out, dry, and store for autumn planting. These pots of yours look a bit overcrowded to me. Even when grown in the beds they need lifting up when clumps become too big. It usually results in poor flowering. They produce new bulbs as well and they might be just too young to set the flowers.ReplyDelete
Overcrowding can cause flowers to fail - do they need splitting? As Roger says also not letting foliage die down naturally and cutting off to early can be a reason. Another possibility is something in the soil has eaten the immature bud.ReplyDelete
I think that many bulbs now are so intensley bred that they are designed to only last one season. Unlike the naturalised ones we see in the countryside which flower every year the ones we buy are 'highly strung'. I have found this particularly with hyacinths (which revert back to a large bluebell after a couple of years) and tulips. I also think it may have something to do with the planting depth not being right, daffy like to be quite deep and also it is probably worth lifting and drying them after the foliage has died down- this means leaving them for about 2 months. Also some tomato feed is good to put on them after flowering to encourage the leaves to build up reserves in the bulb- I am going to try that this year.ReplyDelete
Thank you everyone for the advice you have given (even if some of it is conflicting!). Many of the things you advise are ones I already do, but I think there is a consensus that I should lift the bulbs and replant, so that is what I will do this year. The "Soleils d'Or" for instance are just too good to lose. I want them to be good and last for years!ReplyDelete