Cultivation question

April 21, 2008

Categories: Growing Daffodils, Planting

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Cultivation question

1)  What are the signs of having planted a bulb too deep?  Many of  the bloom stems are very short in a new raised bed with 18" of fluffy dirt.  Haven’t noticed this anywhere else this year – starting to think I sunk things too deep.


2)  If it is too deep, do I need to dig it up and fix it or will the bulb correct things itself over a year or two?


Kathleen Simpson

3 responses to “Cultivation question”

  1. Nancy Ellis says:


    I know there are folks out there more knowledgeable about planting depth than I, but since 
    they are more than likely either  1. gaily traipsing around the UK and Holland or 2. collapsed on a couch 
    after a show, I’ve been thinking about your query. Since you don’t give any idea of the depth you did plant I’ll assume you didn’t plant any deeper than 12 inches, so using my intuition I’d say maybe the fluffy soil you mention could have allowed more light and more temperature fluctuations to affect  initiation of growth. But I’m not sure how that would affect stem length; perhaps there is a connection. Also, think about the time of year you planted. When I have planted late I’ve noticed shorter than usual stems. 

    If you have indeed planted  deeper than necessary I would not dig and replant except out of curiosity. All the bulbs that my friendly moles have moved into their tunnels have been fine- EXCEPT for the miniatures, those have disappeared into the abyss. It is true that some bulbs/corms will correct ‘bad’ planting but I do know that the energy required for this correction depletes bulbs until they can sort things out and settle in. 
    I hope that other Daffnetters will jump in here with some excellent science, perhaps once they have recovered their energy!!

    Nancy Ellis
    16501 SE Fairview Rd
    Dayton OR 97114-8620

  2. Bill Lee says:

    In a message dated 4/21/2008 5:54:03 PM Eastern Standard Time,  title= writes:

    Also, think about the time of year you planted. When I have planted late I’ve noticed shorter than usual stems. 

    I planted some things late last year, Nancy and Kathleen, and I got short stems too.
    Bill Lee

    Need a new ride? Check out the largest site for U.S. used car listings at AOL Autos.

  3. Nancy Wilson says:

    I hope  I can add alittle here.  The deeper you plant the less likely they are to divide.  Leo Brewer, a deceased NCDS member used to plant them 2- 3 feet deep and never divide them.  They seemed to do all right in his garden in Lafayette and , no, he did not have huge clumps.  They will grow to reach the light.  If you plant them in early fall they have time to establish a root system before winter which gives them better nutrition.  I did not read the first of this inquiry but I recomment 3-4 times the depth of the bulb size for miniatures.  They do like a deep pot, not one of the old fashioned flat bulb pots.  I don’t know where you live, but usually they all do better planted outdoors if weather conditions permit.  Miniatures do better in raised beds or at the top of rockery for good drainage.  Here I grow fantastic jonquils in heavy clay soil.  They tend to divide and bunch up toward the top of the bed..
    Hope this helps.
    Nancy R. Wilson