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Daffodil care


by Pippa Greenwood

This year, it seems spring is three whole weeks late. But it is, finally, in full swing: hundreds of daffodils planted alongside my drive are in glorious bloom.


Close-up photograph of a daffodil flowerI need clear signs of spring to help me to recover from a gloomy winter. This year, it seems spring is three whole weeks late. But it is, finally, in full swing: hundreds of daffodils planted alongside my drive are in glorious bloom.

The daffodil display is lovely, but there is a problem I need to address. The soil along the drive is thin and inclined to get compacted, and some clumps are rather congested. A few bulbs are producing leaf and no flower, a phenomenon known as  'blindness'. But, if I act swiftly, I can resolve the problem by next year, or the year after at worst.

Those bulbs have simply used up more of their 'resources' than they can afford, and need a bit of help. So, I'm resolving to:

i) Feed them at the roots.

ii) Spray the foliage with a foliar feed when the blooms have faded.

iii) Mark the worst affected clumps with a short cane (ready to be divided and replanted in the autumn).

This regime won't prevent delivery men driving (unwittingly) over inconspicuous plants, before and after flowering. But it should give my daffodils a much-needed boost. Let's hope I can report on my success next spring!



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Gardeners' World Web User 08/04/2010 at 13:31

I'm going to be feeding my blind daffodils but am less confident of being able to dig them up. A few seem buried so deeply now, some of them well into the roots of Clematis, I'm afraid of killing the clems if I dig through their roots too violently! Pippa any idea what this shaggy daffodil is? I posted a pic of it on Twitter this morning but no takers yet to help me identify it. I know there are plenty of wild variations and maybe it is nameless. http://ow.ly/i/10qe It's originally from Mull off the west coast of Scotland. Sheila Averbuch -- Stopwatch Gardener

Gardeners' World Web User 08/04/2010 at 21:12

my garden has been so cold and water logged, I thought my daffodils wouldn't survive this year ,but there they are looking as lovely as ever, I have lost a lot of the plants in my garden though.sad but true.

Gardeners' World Web User 08/04/2010 at 23:30

Hi Pippa, Most of my daffs are blind this year - can you recommend an organic foliage feed please? To be honest, they are cheap DIY store 'One Year' bulbs that I never dug up 4 years ago (and they are pretty crowded as I've just chucked more 'one year' bulbs in over the past few years, except last year), so are they reasonably at the end of their lives and should be replaced, or is there life in the old buggers yet? Many thanks!

Gardeners' World Web User 09/04/2010 at 14:58

Do you know what is eating and destroying the flower heads on our Daffs.particularly the Tete Tete. I have not noticed Birds causing the damage. They are ruined and only in the rear garden. Thank you.

Gardeners' World Web User 12/04/2010 at 16:41

New to this gardening.....did I read somewhere that once the daffodils have flowered when they are on the decline to take off the head, so it won't seed and the goodness will then go into the leaves and bulb for the following year, and to remove the whole of the stalk too?

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