daffodil buds die

Why Do My Daffodil Buds Die?

Why do my daffodils buds die? They come up normally with a wonderful bud and then fail to open and die?

Doug says:
If it’s an older variety, the do tend to get bud blast (for which there is no cure) and have to be dug out and thrown away.

Some of the modern varieties will do this if the bulbs are overcrowded.

Dig them up this fall, divide and replant immediately if they are overcrowded.

There is also a disease called “Fire”

This causes the flowers and foliage to rot away but doesn’t bother the bulbs. Cleanliness is next to godliness on this one along with some serious spraying with lime/sulphur to control the fungus.

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Bulb Mites

Bulb mites will also do this causing the buds/flowers to deform or not open.
The cure here is to dig the bulbs and soak them in an insecticide (soapy water) for 24 hours that kills off spider mites. Dig in the fall or after the leaves have yellowed.

That’s roughly your choices. I also note that environmental stress is the primary cause of flowering problems but it may not be here.

How to tell which is the problem?

Personally, I’d be looking for the overcrowding first if the daffodil bulbs are over 5 years old.

Spraying the daffodil buds with lime-sulphur is a good idea in any case to knock back any fungal problems and you can do this immediately.

Then I’d check for bulb mites (maybe dig one bulb up and examine with magnifying glass in all the little cracks and under the bulb scales). Spraying with lime-sulphur is a good idea in any case to knock back any fungal problems and you can do this immediately.

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2 thoughts on “Why Do My Daffodil Buds Die?”

  1. Rather than just dying my daffs, many years old, just get spindlier each year and this year about half just didn’t flower though they didn’t look “sick”. The ones that did looked ok but not impressive. They’re not crowded. Is it possible they are too remote from one another? I see massive clumps together especially in England. Mine have never done that. What can one do to make them healthier?

  2. Spindly plants *likely* indicate either too crowded as a clump (divide them) or not enough sunshine (move them) Being “remote” or too far apart wouldn’t do this – they don’t need others in the vicinity to bloom. Daffodils get along with very little food so that’s not usually an issue. And if you compare your North American garden to the UK or Europe for blooms, you may be setting yourself up for failure. I don’t know where you live but the UK and many parts of Europe have climates that encourage this kind of plant and many parts of North America do not. So if you’re too warm a garden, then bulbs that require long dormancy periods won’t do well at all.

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