Call 855-660-4261 with your lawn & garden questions every Saturday from 8:06am to 10:00am ET. Then listen to Mort answer your questions. Or email anytime at questions@themagicgarden.com
Listen to the weekly archive 24 hours a day 7 days a week on demand.
Keyword Search Results for:
Daffodils

13 Found

Question: 303-5201
Some people have told me that it is okay to cut back my daffodils now, while they are still green. What do you suggest? Estelle, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
While the leaves are still green and not completely dried out, they are producing chlorophyll and nutrient for the root bulbs. I wait until the wind is ready to take them away.

back to top




Question: 369-3410
My daffodils are quite tight and they have not bloomed the last two years. Any suggestions? Should I split them up? I have over 50 in a small area. Jean, Plainfield, CT

Mort's Answer:
When plants get too close, they compete for nutrient in the soil. I would divide daffodils every three years.

back to top




Question: 402-1616
The past few years my daffodils have not produced many blooms. Also my periwinkle has sparse flowers and is spreading slowly. Any ideas? Matt, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Most soils in your area have a shallow water table. This can be problematic for bulbs, which need good drainage. Assuming that you purchased #1 bulbs and you planted them at least six inches deep you need to replant them every year this way, I would dig the daffodil bulb out every late spring after they have flowered. Store them in a brown paper bag after drying them out and removing the roots underneath and all the stems. Keep them in a cool dry place for the summer and plant them again each fall. Place an inch of sand at the bottom of the holes. Both your periwinkle and the daffodils can use a boost of 5-10-10 on the surface of the soil. Periwinkle does best in mostly shade.

back to top




Question: 443-1616
The past few years my daffodils have not produced many blooms. Also my periwinkle has sparse flowers and is spreading slowly. Any ideas? Matt, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Most soils in your area have a shallow water table. This can be problematic for bulbs, which need good drainage. Assuming that you purchased #1 bulbs and you planted them at least six inches deep you need to replant them every year this way, I would dig the daffodil bulb out every late spring after they have flowered. Store them in a brown paper bag after drying them out and removing the roots underneath and all the stems. Keep them in a cool dry place for the summer and plant them again each fall. Place an inch of sand at the bottom of the holes. Both your periwinkle and the daffodils can use a boost of 5-10-10 on the surface of the soil. Periwinkle does best in mostly shade.

back to top




Question: 567-2611
We have a clump of daffodils with 37 buds but it produced no flowers. What happened? Robert, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
You need to dig them up and separate the bulbs. There will be many smaller bulbs. Because of the clayey soil and their proximity to each other they were unable to get enough nutrient to continue growth. You should store the bulbs for the summer to build up energy in a cool dry place. You can store them in kitty litter, perlite or new sawdust.  A brown paper bag will suffice, if it is in low humidity. When you dig them out, throw out any bulbs with mapping or brown or black spots on them. When fall arrives plant the bulbs with two inches of sand under them and about six inches deep. Large King Alfred bulbs should be planted eight inches deep.

back to top




Question: 655-4911
Can I plant daffodils in the snow? Mark , Johnston, RI

Mort's Answer:
Daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs will need the cold of winter for rest. If you can penetrate the soil under the snow, you can plant the bulbs. King Alfred dafs are planted eight inches down. All bulbs are two and a half times the size deep. Place a third sand with your present soil unless it is already sandy. Do not use any fertilizer in the hole. You can place the fertilizer on the top.

back to top




Question: 695-612
My daffodils are two inches high now. They are about three years old and seem weak. Will covering them help? Carol, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Many daffodils are six inches tall in nearby Narragansett, RI. I have seen two inch spring bulbs in middle RI. You do not need to cover the plants. When the cold arrives, they start to have very small cellular growth. This growth closes up the leaves and provides the necessary protection to bulbs and other plants. One of the biggest problems for folks in your area is the shallow water table. Because the clay and hard pan does not drain well, bulbs need to be planted with sand at the bottom of the holes. I would dig them up in the spring after blooming. Store them in a cool dry place for the summer. Throw out any bulbs that have brown spots or black mapping on them. Replant for bulbs in the fall with an inch of sand at the bottom of a seven inch hole.

back to top




Question: 810-3512
Can I divide my daffodils now? Carol, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Since they are best planted in cooler weather, you could wait until first frost to dig them up. You can sun dry in the meantime and store them in a cellar. If there is any mapping, brown or black spots on the bulbs, toss them out. You can split the smaller bulbs from the main bulbs before drying. King Alfred bulbs should be planted eight inches deep. A rule of thumb is two and a half times the size of the bulb for the depth. Place an inch of sand at the bottom but no fertilizer in the hole. You can spread some 5--10--10 on the surface. There is enough nutrient in each bulb for the first year.

back to top




Question: 1257-1915
My daffodils look like they will not bloom this year. They have always bloomed in the past. Should I throw them out? Pam, Hope, RI

Mort's Answer:
They could still bloom yet. Daffodils need to be planted 6-8 inches deep in a well drained soil. This years constant blanket of snow has insulated too much frozen ground to be thawed on time. If you also have wood mulch, you had double trouble. I hate to throw anything out. When you are sure they will not bloom, dig out the bulbs. Examine them for any black spots or mapping or rot. Throw out the infected and sun dry the good bulbs. Remove all roots and stems. Store them in a cool dry place in brown paper bags for the summer. In late September plant them again in the ground. You will probably find more bulbs when they split.

back to top




Question: 1304-3915
When can I plant my daffodil bulbs? Pat, North Stonington, CT

Mort's Answer:
Any time soon is fine. As soon as the frost arrives any growth will be inhibited. King Alfred bulbs need to be planted eight inches down. Others can be planted six deep. Use a little sand at the bottom of each hole to help drain the water. Water once from the top when you finish planting. Do not use any fertilizer in the hole. A handful of 5-10-10 at the surface will help extend the flower in the spring. A rule of thumb is to plant to a depth two and a half times the size of the bulb for all spring flowering bulbs.

back to top




Question: 1319-4315
Can daffodils be divided? Mary, Preston, CT

Mort's Answer:
Daffodils will produce bulbets like garlic. New holes should be 6-8 inches deep with an inch of sand in the soil in southeastern Connecticut. Because these type of oils are clayey with a shallow water table, the bulbs may get fungi and rot. This can be done anytime this fall before or after the frost, as long as you can work the soil.

back to top




Question: 1323-4515
I am digging up some of my daffodils for my daughter. Some have eyes. What shall I do with them? Mary, Preston, CT

Mort's Answer:
Keep the bulbs in a brown paper bag in the basement or in a cool spot like the refrigerator (not the freezer). Growth is stunted in cool temperatures. Tell her to plant them 6-8 inches deep with the eyes. Be sure the points are up. King Alfred dafs can be two inches deeper. Put an inch of sand under the bulbs. Some of the bulbs may have babies on the side. The smaller bulbs that are detached by hand need not be as deep. You need not put fertilizer in the holes but some 5-10-10 or bulb mix can be applied on the top for next year. Wet the soil and let them be. The daffodils will be fine. They will keep an eye on each other.

back to top




Question: 1326-4615
Someone suggested that we use oyster shells in the holes when we plant daffodils. Is this a good idea? Julie, Templeton, MA

Mort's Answer:
Oyster shells, clam shells and diatomaceous earth are all excellent sources of calcium. They act like lime as a catalyst for other nutrients. They are also deterrents to snails and slugs. I would not put them in the hole. I would rather put a half inch of sand for good drainage. There is enough nutrient in each bulb for the first year. I suggest that you place the amendment on top of the soil after planting for best results.

back to top