The Life Cycle of Daffodil
People are familiar with forced daffodil bulbs because many farmers implement this practice to get an earlier yield. It is important to note the natural life cycle of daffodils, though.
This flower is included in the list of spring flowers. Typically, it will bloom between the late winter and early stages of spring.
Farmers start to get daffodils in the ground during the autumn season. It will go through a cool dormancy. After the blooming season, it will go dormant in the hot summer season.
In the next fall, root development happens to the daffodils. Forcing the daffodil bulbs enables people to enjoy this white and yellow flower for a longer time.
Steps to Force Daffodil in Soil
You can force the daffodil bulbs into the soil. Here are the steps to do this task successfully:
- Prepare a clean pot with drainage holes and cover the holes with several bits of broken pottery.
- Fill the pot with soil loosely until it is half filled, then add the bulb (the rule of thumb: 3 to 4 bulbs per 6-inch pot).
- Cover the bulb with soil and leave the upper part uncovered.
- Water the pot until all parts of the soil turn moist.
- Place the pot inside the refrigerator or other cool places with temperatures ranging from 35 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Move the pot to a warmer place once you have seen the bulb shoot up.
Forced daffodil bulbs must stay cold for at least 13 weeks. After that, it will take up to 4 weeks for the flowers to bloom.
Steps to Force Daffodil in Water
An alternative medium to force daffodil bloom is water. You need to follow these steps to force daffodil into the water:
- Prepare a container about 4 to 6 inches deep and place rock pebbles about halfway up the container.
- Place the bulbs on top of the pebbles and make sure they are stable (about two-thirds of the bulbs should be exposed).
- Pour water into the container but make sure that the water does not touch the roots.
- Keep the container in a cool and dark spot.
- Refill the water if necessary but be careful about not touching the roots.
- When the roots have formed, move the container to a warm spot.
When using a water medium, you will need a slightly longer time for the bloom to start (up to five weeks). You must remove the bulbs from the container after the root has formed.
Ideal Care for Forced Daffodil Bulbs
What is the ideal care needed by daffodil bulbs that have been forced to start blooming early? Let’s take a look at these points:
- Keep the flower in indirect light
You should keep the bulbs in a well-lit spot that does not receive direct sunlight. This step is going to encourage the growth of the flowers.
- Provide water supply until the flowers fade
Daffodils naturally require plentiful water to continue living. Thus, you have to water the plant consistently. The soil should stay moist but not soggy, making the roots rot quickly. The watering must be done until the last of the flowers fade.
- Give compost when flower season has finished
Once you have seen that the flowers fade, it is your chance to fertilize the plant. It works better with organic compost. This will ensure next year’s bloom.
Potential Issues in Forcing the Daffodil Bulbs
Although forcing daffodil bulbs is common among gardeners, there are potential risks following the procedure.
First, the plant will grow taller than the daffodils you find in nature. This situation happens especially to indoor daffodils that do not acquire sufficient sunlight. It lengthens its body to try to achieve more sunlight.
Flower yield is also an issue among forced daffodil bulbs. Many gardeners experience cases where their bulbs do not bloom because they are forced to.
Others experience a very short-lived bloom. Another issue comes from daffodil bulbs that are forced into the water. You are likely not to experience another bloom in the next year with this method.
That is why people tend to choose the soil medium.
Tips to Store Daffodil Bulbs
You may have leftover bulbs that you did not manage to plant that year. These bulbs still have a chance to bloom next year.
However, you need to store the bulbs properly. Here are some tips to make sure that the bulbs are safe and sound in the storage room:
- Brush off the remaining soil on the bulb’s surface.
- Make sure that the bulbs are dry.
- Remove any bulb in the bunch that appears moldy or has a soft texture.
- Place the bulb inside a place that is cool and dry.
- Use a mesh bag to keep the bulbs for good air circulation.