Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Daffodil Dud

Elizabeth over at Garden Rant says the Plant Docs are in.

Hey Docs, some of my daffodils are duds. They put up plenty of flower buds and maybe one or two will open. The rest never open and when you feel them they seem to be hollow inside.

The flower buds look relatively normal, but they just sit there mocking me.

This flower came from another clump way on the other side of the garden with the same problem. The faded flower is from this clump. They are very very similar or the same daffodil variety.

There are 10,000 daffodils in this mountain top zone 5b garden and it is a sight to behold when they are in full bloom. It would be nicer if they all bloomed.

A closer look at some of the flower bud duds shows that there is a flower inside in varying stages of what looks to be death. Even with my best reading glasses I did not see any sign of insect critters.

What is wrong with these daffodils Doc? Should I be worried? Will it spread to the rest of the 10,000 daffodils and wreck the annual Bulbapaloozathon? What should I do?

Thank you for any help you can give.

A Concerned Bulb Assistant


Sheila said...

I have never seen a problem like that. Interesting to see what is the cause.

Susan in the Pink Hat said...

Temperature. The flower embryo was damaged inside the bulb. Usually this happens when they are exposed to to much heat; usually above mid 70-80 degree weather as bulbs or in the soil. From looking at the clump, I suspect it's in the soil. They may not be planted deeply enough. I would dig up the bulbs and inspect them to make sure they are not rotting, and then bury them deeper. Be sure to fertilize in the fall to help them along.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris,
I had some that did the exact same thing. I never thought about it but the heat makes sense. Any daffs that I planted that are late bloomers have looked like that every year.

Lola said...

Boy, what a bummer. I have some that I brought back from N.C. over 10 yrs ago & they have never bloomed. Can't figure that one out.
I dug them up & put them in a large tub so next yr I can see if there is any change.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am glad you asked that question. It is hot here this spring and I have some daffs doing this too.

Randy Emmitt said...

No expert but, could it be the bulbs need thinned out, they are awful thick. When was the last time you feed them some good beer?

I got some naturalized daffodils today from a deck I'm building for a customer, they were in the footers. I think they are jonquils, tall with 1 1/2' white flowers with small yellow cups, I see these all over yards in old Durham. Now my garden will have some of these oldies.

Pam said...

I've had the same thing happen - and expected temperature. Interesting. (And we sometimes have those crazy too-warm early days too). Makes sense.

Frank Hyman said...

Could be a nutrient deficiency.

Some state extension offices will test for nutrients. Call them and if they will test (probably for a fee of maybe $12 or so) you bring a soil sample and a leaf sample (with a damp paper towel in a plastic baggie) and they can see if some minor nutrient that's critical to bud formation is missing.

Would be hard for soil temps to hit 70-80 in the spring I think, but would be interesting.

Frank Hyman
Because it's easier to enjoy your garden if you're not enslaved by it.

Susan in the Pink Hat said...

Nice for you to get an answer about this at GardenRant. I'm full of crap, glad to know it! At least it was temperature related, though. So I'm only half-full of crap.