Blind daffodils

DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
We have a lot of daffodils, planted by a previous owner, on a (deciduous) tree shaded bank. Last year there was hardly a flower on them. This year maybe 30% are currently producing flower stalks. I've never had daffs before - do they have off-years? Would a high-potash feed now be of any benefit?
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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,041
    I have some amongst coppiced Hazels, They don't flower well when they get too shaded but revive for a while when the hazels are coppiced. 
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
    These are under beech and oak, along with a bit of willow and hazel. The bank faces south so they ought to get some sun before the trees come into leaf. They were all fine two years ago.
  • Depends what you mean by " a lot " ?  They often gain a new lease of life when divided and re planted.
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
    Depends what you mean by " a lot " ? 
    Well, I confess I don't know! Am planning on a walk around the garden later so I'll try to estimate numbers.

    However, not sure about dividing them as I suspect they're in among tree roots and would be hard to dig out, and I might upset the trees! Do you think a feed would help?
  • I see your problem - usually if you feed bulbs, you'd do it after flowering but I'm sure someone will be able to offer more expert advice.  Good luck anyway :)
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 3,447
    Yes, try some tomato feed if you've got some left over, it's got potash in it to aid flowering. When the flowers have gone over in a few weeks time, scatter some bonemeal around them (if you haven't got dogs or badgers) which will help next year's bulbs. 
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
    Depends what you mean by " a lot " ? 
    Just braved the gales and nipped out inbetween showers and I think there's about 200 clumps in one place and maybe 75 in another. All along banks. They flowered fine in 2017, but nothing in 2018. Now I think there are more buds appearing, so maybe 50% will flower in 2019, hopefully more!

    2018 was the Year of the Beasts of course - is it possible that they were just thinking about putting out buds when the Beasts struck? And that did for them? Or will they flower every other year???
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
    Lizzie27 said:
    Yes, try some tomato feed if you've got some left over, it's got potash in it to aid flowering. When the flowers have gone over in a few weeks time, scatter some bonemeal around them (if you haven't got dogs or badgers) which will help next year's bulbs. 
    OH has tom feed somewhere, so that goes on now?

    I have a party pack of bonemeal (and no dogs, but 1/3 cats) so I'll give them a good dressing later on.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 25,942
    They can often be blind when they get congested, as Philippa says.
    As long as you allow the foliage to die back naturally, they should have ample nutrition to flower each year though. It may be a case of several factors combined too. They may have suffered a bit with cold hitting new buds last year.
    Is this when they normally flower in your garden though? Mine are only just forming buds, although I saw a few nearby today which are just thinking about opening. They're general, bog standard types which are always the earliest though, and it's early here for them too.

    I only feed ones in pots, and that gets done after they flower. If I remember. The ones in borders just get on with it. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,057
    Hard to say when they normally flower as we've only been here, in mild North Devon, two years. The first year (2017) they were flowering in early April. So this year probably counts as early due to the very mild winter (on the whole) that we've had. Clumps of dwarf daffodils are in full flower on the lawn, but they get a lot more sun. One or two of the bank ones are in flower (including one that has been felled by something, slug maybe, mutter), the rest are just forming their buds.
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