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hi, I would like to know why my daffodils have stopped producing flowers for five years. thanks
the daffodils are bulbous plants typical of our gardens, present in Italy and in Europe also as wild plants, in the woods and in uncultivated land; the climate of our peninsula favors the development of these plants, which develop and bloom in spring, when the climate is humid thanks to the rains, and dry up in the summer, with the heat, a period in which the bulb enters vegetative rest until the following year: if the summer was wet, the resting bulbs could be hit by fungi and molds, favored by humidity.
These plants bloom from year to year, using the nutrients stored in the bulb the previous year at the end of the winter; if the daffodils stop flowering, it means they failed to store enough nutrients the previous year.
This event occurs for two different reasons:
- Bulbs, like all other plants, produce nutrients thanks to chlorophyll photosynthesis, which takes place in the green areas of the plant (ie in cells that have chlorophyll inside them); if we want big flowers every year, then we will have to take care of the leaves, letting them grow better and provide fertilizer; if, on the other hand, we do not supply fertilizer to the foliage, or even cut it before it dries up autonomously, sanctioning the end of the plant's spring development cycle, it is probable that the bulb has failed to store anything, and therefore will hardly flourish the following year.
- The narcissus bulbs propagate producing small lateral cloves, which over time begin to produce leaves autonomously and to spread, until they bloom.
If we leave the bulbs on the ground for a long time, in a small flowerbed or in a vase, over the years the soil will be overcrowded with bulbs, which will not be able to find the mineral salts necessary for their correct development, and therefore with the passing some years will stop flowering.
So, to have daffodils in bloom from year to year it is necessary to let the foliage develop at its best, fertilizing it, until it dries up autonomously; in general it is sufficient to spread a slow release granular fertilizer around the bulbs at the beginning of spring, the rains will think to gradually dissolve it. If the climate is particularly dry, we water our bulbs, but only when the soil is well dry.
In addition to this, especially if we keep the bulbs in pots, every 2-3 years we dig them up and thin them, keeping only the largest specimens; if we cultivate them in pots, after having eradicated them, let us place them in a fresh and completely renewed soil.