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Why Your Spring Bulbs Haven’t Bloomed

Your spring bulbs – crocuses, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths – are starting to bloom. If yours haven’t appeared yet, it may be for one of the reasons listed below.

If your bulbs have bloomed in previous years but not this year, here are some causes:

• Did you cut them back to the ground after they bloomed last year? Removing green leaves when you remove spent flowers takes away the plants’ food making machines. When first planted, the bulbs had plenty of stored food. They used that food to bloom and leaf out in their first spring. It’s OK to remove flowers when they’re finished but keep the leaves on as long as they’re green. They’re making food through photosynthesis and storing it in the bulbs. The time to remove leaves is when they turn yellow.

• Did you fertilize them last year? You didn’t have to fertilize when you first planted the bulbs, but they need fertilizer in subsequent years. The time to fertilize is after the flowers are spent and the leaves are still green.

• Bulbs are naturally annuals in our climate, but many varieties have naturalized and now are perennials. You may have purchased an annual variety by mistake. Read the package to be sure you’re buying naturalized varieties that will bloom year-after-year.

• Check the bed to see if hungry animals dug them up for dinner.

If you just planted bulbs last fall and they don’t come up this spring…

• Check first for disturbed soil, which would indicate that an animal got to them.

• If the soil isn’t disturbed, dig up the bulbs to be sure they’re planted right side up. The pointed end should be facing upward and the hairy, root end should point downward. Orient them correctly and they should grow next year.

• When you have the bulbs exposed, check to see if they’re waterlogged and if the hole is too damp. If so, you’ll have to relocate the bulbs to a drier location.

Spring bulbs require little maintenance once they’re planted. Follow these simple suggestions and you will enjoy a sea of color next spring and for many springs to come.

One comment on “Why Your Spring Bulbs Haven’t Bloomed

  1. Some bulbs bloom only once here because they do not get adequate chill in winter to bloom again.

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