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Lack of Blooms


July 30, 2016

QuestionFor the last several years a patch of orange day lilies in our yard has put up healthy looking sprouts in the spring but the leaves lose color by bloom time and offer no flowers.  Just recently I saw the same look in a patch on the edge of a field northeast of here.  What gives?


AnswerIf daylilies aren't blooming it usually means they are too crowded or in too much shade.  They benefit from division every 3-4 years.  Also check the foliage to make sure there are not brown spots on the leaves. There are some fungal diseases which can impact the foliage, which can also reduce blooms. 


(May 2009)

QuestionA year ago November, I planted about a dozen tulip bulbs. Last year and this year, they have produced a sum total of three blooms (or whatever they are called).  Anyway, today I decided it was time to move them and try something different. But I don't want to totally give up on them. Is it too soon to dig them up? Also, I would like to try a planter or pot.  If I do dig them up, should I store them until the fall or can I pot them now?


AnswerI would toss those bulbs and plant fresh ones next fall.  Tulips are not the easiest bulb to re-bloom year after year in the south.  They are often one of the last bulbs to bloom and it often gets hot during their growth period, causing them to die back early.   I am not sure why they didn’t bloom well year one, but it is not uncommon to get smaller flowers or just foliage in subsequent years.  Daffodils and crocus will re-bloom great every season with little care. Hyacinths can return, but do like to be fertilized.  Since these bulbs didn’t do well even from year one, I wouldn’t waste much more effort on them.  For future reference, all spring bulbs need a minimum of six weeks of green foliage growth before you can remove the foliage, either by cutting them back or digging them up and storing for fall planting.


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