Will My Daffodil Bulbs Bloom This Spring?

A garden expert reveals the reasons why your daffodils might not bloom in spring. Find out what you can do to get daffodil bulbs to flower.

Bright yellow daffodilsnicolette wells/Getty Images

Why Are My Daffodils Not Blooming in Spring?

Question: Some daffodil plants in my garden did not bloom. Is there any hope that they’ll have flowers this coming spring? I do leave the greens until they turn brown. —Mary Anne Christoffersen of Staten Island, New York

Melinda: Frost, excess shade and overcrowding may prevent daffodils from flowering. Buds of early-blooming daffodils are often killed by late spring frosts. Since the flower buds look similar to a leaf tip when they first expand, the frost damage is often overlooked. In that case, you should have spring blooms if the weather cooperates.

If frost was not an issue, evaluate the amount of sunlight your plants receive. Maturing trees, new structures and additional plantings can increase shade to the point where the plants won’t bloom. Crowding causes a reduction in flowering. Dig and divide overcrowded plants, and move those that are in heavy shade if that’s the problem. Do this as the foliage declines or in fall when you would normally plant new bulbs. (Read more: 10 of the Best Daffodil Bulbs to Plant This Fall)

Each month, Birds & Blooms readers send in their burning questions to gardening expert, Melinda Myers, who is a nationally known, award-winning garden expert, TV/radio host and author of more than 20 books.

Got a gardening question for Melinda? Submit your questions here! They may appear here or in a future issue of the magazine.

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Melinda Myers
Melinda Myers is a nature and gardening writer whose specialty is attracting wildlife, especially birds, to the garden. She contributes regularly to the magazine Birds & Blooms, and lectures widely on creating gardens that please both human and avian visitors.