Blind daffodils

Posted: Wednesday 20 February 2013
by Pippa Greenwood

The sun is shining and the daffodils are out. Nothing spells the start of spring like a mass of golden, trumpet-shaped narcissi.

Yellow daffodils

The sun is shining and the daffodils are out. Nothing spells the start of spring like a mass of golden, trumpet-shaped narcissi.

Among the flowering daffodils are some that are only producing foliage. These ‘blind’ daffodils, either side of the driveway, are probably failing to flower because the soil is compacted by cars, delivery trucks and passing pedestrians.

I’m sure that, with a little extra care, the blind daffodils will flower next year. I’ll surround them with a barrier of canes and twine, so they won’t get squashed any more, and give them a good feed. The feed should be reapplied every few weeks, while the leaves are still green. Regular feeding helps the bulbs to build up a store of nutrients for next year, so they’re far more likely to flower.

My hellebores are out now too, and most are looking good. Unfortunately some are showing signs of hellebore leaf spot disease. The characteristic purple-black blotches are spreading from the foliage to some of the flowers. The best I can do is pick off the worst affected areas, and bin them. As last year was so wet, it’s likely that fungal diseases will thrive this spring, but hopefully drier weather will check their progress.

Now the sun is shining I’ll open the door of my greenhouse, to give my indoor lettuces some much-needed ventilation. I must remember, though, to shut it before temperatures drop this evening. I mustn't get lulled into a false sense of security...

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happymarion 20/02/2013 at 16:32

You would not think from seeing the wonderful display our hellebores are putting on in the Bristol Botanic Garden that they once had the dreaded blight. We volunteers spent hours cutting away every leaf and flower that had even a tiny spot on them and it worked. None died. i have some blind daffodils in the long grass but i think that may be because they are congested so i will dig them up and replant them in the green.

hollie hock 21/02/2013 at 21:39

I had loads of blind daffs last year, I put it down to the weather the year before. I left them in  situ and fingers crossed this will be a better year for them

oldchippy 22/02/2013 at 12:33

The ground where my daffs grow has been to hard to dig over the last few year's as it's been so dry,maybe this year I may be able to lift and dived them. Oldchippy.

Sam13 19/04/2013 at 10:57

I am new to gardening as I only moved into a property with a garden last year. We had an abundance of daffs last year - but this year it's just the leaves which are in abundance again - but no flowers. Which i'm told is blind daffs.  I've looked everywhere online and no-one seem to tell me what to do with them. Do I leave them all summer until they die off and then cutt them down, or should I dig the bulbs up when the leaves have died and buy new bulbs ready for next year?  

figrat 19/04/2013 at 11:20

Did you cut the leaves off last year, or did you let them wither away naturally?

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