This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area



November 27, 2013

Two stages to blooming daffodils

There are two stages to a blooming bulb, such as a daffodil. First is the foliage stage, and then is the flowering stage. Pictured here is the beginning of the flowering stage, the flower bud. The previous stage, the foliage stage, began several months ago.

This bulb has been in the ground for two years now. It will come back every year, here in the Phoenix, Arizona area, starting in September. And it will be in just the foliage stage until it begins to bloom, which is normally in December, January, and February.

The point here is that you will see several months of foliage before you see any blooms. And since my emphasis here at The Tropical Paradise is foliage, that works out just fine for me. Once the plant blooms, the foliage begins to die back. By February the foliage starts to turn brown. The plant is not dying then, it is just going into "hibernation" for a while.

So here is how to have beautiful daffodils:

• Plant them in September. They will start to grow just about right away. You will see several months of foliage.

• Enjoy the blooms from December to February. As the blooms fade, pinch them off, but leave the foliage alone.

• Allow the foliage to turn brown and die back naturally. This is difficult to do if you're a neat gardener, but if you cut the foliage all off after the plant blooms, it won't have enough energy to bloom the next year.

I always add some dry fertilizer when I start to see some growth, and all during the bloom cycle. And be sure your daffodils get plenty of water!
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