Anne Wright, England

Deformed flowers

March 24, 2013

Category: Diseases and Pests

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This year, I have had a lot of deformed flowers on my miniature daffodils in my bulb house. In most, the corona is deformed in some way, usually puckered in at the mouth, but sometimes shortened or straightened when it should be frilled, Last year one flower on a seedling was affected and I thought it was a cute new break! This year I’m getting worried. The leaves look fine and growth otherwise is normal. Any help would be welcomed.

6 responses to “Deformed flowers”

  1. Donna Dietsch, Ohio says:


     Don’t worry.  They will be back to normal next year.  It is not a permanent condition, nor is it a disease.  This usually is caused by the temperature being a bit cooler than the plant likes when the bud is emerging from the leaves.  We have had a colder than normal spring this year.  It has been the same here as there.  It will not surprise me if there are a few in my garden that are like yours.  We are expecting several inches of snow starting this afternoon.  Oh well!  It’s always something!


  2. Anne Wright, England Anne Wright, England says:

    Hi Donna, I hope you’re right – we did have a cold spell about the right time. I wondered if it might be our unusually cold summer last year when the flower embryos were being formed.

  3. Jason Delaney, Missouri Jason Delaney, Missouri says:


    I have noted this in our outdoor daffodils, typically when the preceeding late summer through fall season has been extremely dry, with no moisture available to the bulbs.   It does not seem to be a persistent problem.

    I have also noticed it after very mild winters, when we have had little vernalization.

    Lastly, I have also seen this occur where pre-emergent herbicides were applied in the autumn.  Again, not a long-term damaging issue, but certainly not good.  Ronstar was the chemical used that year, and it made a mess of our naturalized display.  [Active ingredient:  Oxadiazon 3-[2,4-dichloro-5-(1-methylethoxy)phenyl]-5-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1,3,4-oxadiazol-2(3H)-one.]

    Great photos, for sure—thanks for posting them as they will no doubt be useful for others, as this problem seems universal for daffodil growers, if infrequently.


  4. Anne Wright, England Anne Wright, England says:

    Thanks for that Jason. I must say I’m relieved that now that’s two votes for “don’t throw them out”!

    My bulbs are all under glass so they are dried out in the summer, though I didn’t think I’d done anything different to usual. The first photo is of Candlepower, which should have a very nice trumpet!

  5. Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee says:

    Anne, I’m seeing quite a few flowers blooming like this outdoors this year in middle Tennessee. It has been a particularly tortuous spring for daffodils here with temperatures going back and forth between 25 degrees F one night and 70 degrees a couple of days later. We average about 50 inches of rain a year here.which is fairly evenly spread over the seasons and I have used no herbicides, so this must be Mother Nature (perhaps being a little crazier than usual with a little help from climate change). This year I have also seen more crepey perianths and have been told that winds can contribute to that and that a wind break would help. More fluctuating temperatures equals more storms, so it makes sense the blooms have also been more windblown than before.

  6. Anne Wright, England Anne Wright, England says:

    Thanks, Becky. Here’s hoping for normal flowers next summer.