daffodil problem

April 22, 2009

Categories: Bulb Information, Diseases and Pests, Growing Daffodils, Nematode, Scorch

Download PDF

This isn’t something I would normally advertise, but I’ve got something going on with a few of my daffs.  It’s not nematode, but can’t figure out what it is.  I’ve read thru the Pests and Diseases book and it could be scorch or fire, but doesn’t look exactly like either one.  It has also crossed my mind that my lawn company has gotten something in my beds because all but one of the bulbs is next to the lawn. It’s only a bulb here or there. I have been digging the effected bulbs, but would like to figure out if I should be using chemicals (which I hate) or if hot water treatment would take care of those effected.  The bulbs and roots all look fine.  It’s just the foliage that looks bad. I am a little bummed because I have just noticed two bulbs that are effected in my seedling bed.  The symptoms are the same.  The foliage gets brown streaks, then becomes limp and looks dead.  Pictures below.  Help if you can. Picture on the left shows leaves of bulbs that were dug several days ago.  Picture on right still in bed. Third picture is very advanced stage.

Big savings on Dell XPS Laptops and Desktops!

8 responses to “daffodil problem”

  1. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio Mary Lou Gripshover says:

    Have you cut open a bulb to see if there’s anything going on inside?  If everything damaged is close to your lawn, I’d guess it might be the lawn chemicals.  When the guy is moving that sprayer back and forth, it might have gotten onto some of your bulbs.
    Mary Lou

  2. Kathy Welsh says:

    Yes, I’m inclined to think the lawn chemicals are the problem as well.  In fact I’ve noticed that one entire rows next to the lawn is very sparse of dafs, but I want to make sure that I’m not missing something.  A few questions I’ve received…could it be frost damage? no, these aren’t varieties that were up early.  Could it be neck rot?  No, the bulbs all look fantastic, all white and good roots.  Only the foliage seems to be affected.
    Could it possibly be botrytis?  We’ve had a very wet cool spring.

    Big savings on Dell XPS Laptops and Desktops!

  3. Keith Kridler says:

    some of the broad leaf weed and feed fertilizers have some chemicals that would kill daffodils. Check to see what they are using in either the fertilizer or weed spraying.
    We just had a man come in to the Master Gardener office that killed all of his two year old trees in his yard and all his azaleas when he sprayed 2-4-D to kill Hen bit and chickweed in his yard a couple of weeks ago. Slicing across the top of one of the bulbs might show you if you have rot coming down the leaves and into the scales of the bulbs. Keith Kridler

  4. Rod Armstrong says:

    This year in late February when some spring weeds started appearing in my beds, I sprayed with a broad leaf weed killer containing 2-4 D, carefully avoiding emerging foliage but on occasion I screwed up and accidently sprayed the foliage.  The conditions you’ve explained and the pictures are identical to what happened to me.  Since the daffs are near your lawn I suspect that your lawn service sprayed your lawn for broad leaf spring weed eradication and it drifted into your beds. 


  5. Lina Burton says:

    If they worked on your lawn on a day when there was even a slight breeze, the spray could have drifted onto your daffodils.  I had this happen a number of years ago when something was used on a field near my vegetable garden. The tomatoes on the edge of the garden, next to the field (but about 50 feet away), were destroyed. Those further away in the interior of garden were protected by the first row and were fine. That experience, plus our collie, are the reasons our “lawn” contains lots of weeds! I

    Big savings on Dell XPS Laptops and Desktops!

  6. Vijay Chandhok says:


    I have similar experience, my neighbors get their lawn sprayed next to my flowering area every month or so and I cannot grow any daffodils at the boundary, they last one season at most and they are gone. Some other bulbs survive for a while but not  in best shape.

  7. Ross Hotchkiss says:

    OK!  I could not resist responding, particularly after what I think is some very accurate ‘finger pointing’!  Let’s face it, the lawn care folks usually do not hire horticulturists to do their spraying, so some of these workers have little, if any, regard for wind conditions and flower beds.  I stopped using a commercial lawn service a number of years ago when I lost portions of numerous azaleas that were downwind from where my lawn had been sprayed with a weed control that contained 2-4 D!  Even the slightest breeze will carry the spray onto areas that should NOT be sprayed with this herbicide AND, these guys have scheduled stops to make and many of them are not very cautious when they spray.  Not all of them, but a lot of them!
    I am truly sorry this occured with your daffodils, Kathy, but I think you have done a great service in making all of us aware of the problems associated with spraying, whether done privately or commercially.  Always remember to READ THE LABEL when using any commercial fertilizer or weed control product.  AND, ALWAYS use a respirator when spraying.  If it can make your daffodil leaves look like the pictures we have seen, what effect could it have on your unprotected lungs and airways!  Be very careful!

  8. Joanna Lloyd Tilghman says:
    Everyone should especially think of what this horrendous herbicide is doing to the environment and the ground water, particularly.