5 Things to Avoid When Growing Daffodils

Daffodils have become a bit of an obsession, I have to admit. I love these cheery flowers so much, I’ve planted hundreds of thousands of these narcissus bulbs over the years at Moss Mountain Farm. I tend to go overboard with daffodils and for good reason. The bright yellow beauties inspire me because so few flowers are as resilient.

daffodilsAs perennials, daffodil bulbs should produce flowers for years to come, but I get a lot of questions about why they don’t. Below are five common reasons they don’t re-bloom and what you can do so you can enjoy these little harbingers of spring year after year.

  1. They are planted in shade. Daffodils need to be planted in the sun. They can take some partial shade but like full sun. If you plant them in the shade they probably will not come back next year.
  2. Over time, the clumps of daffodils become too congested. They need to be separated and divided. Depending on the variety, separate and divide them every three to five years, and you’ll get continuous bloom.
  3. You cut the foliage back too soon. Let the foliage last as long as it can. If you have to cut it back, let the blooms fade and six weeks later, you can cut the foliage back and it will not prevent the daffodils from blooming next year. The foliage re-energizes the plant to come back next year.
  4. They’re hungry. At the beginning of the daffodil season, when they start to bloom, take some granular fertilizer and sprinkle it around the plants. Feed the foliage and let it last as long as it can and die back naturally.
  5. The soil conditions aren’t quite right. Daffodils need moisture, but don’t plan them where they are going to sit all winter in wet, soggy soil.
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