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September issue








Ask Gerry

  1 - 6 of 116 answer(s)
 

Cutting lilies after flowering?

A friend told me she wanted to tidy her garden and cut her lilies down as they looked very ugly after flowering. Now she is worried that it might have been wrong and would damage the plants. As I have no lilies myself I could not answer her. The lilies are the ones with leafs directly on the flower stem. Sari, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare Posted: 21/10/2013

Taking off any developing seed-heads, unless you want seeds, is okay because it re-directs the growth into the bulb, cutting down stems would reduce growth and the ability of the bulb to set flower buds for the following year. So let the foliage turn yellow or wither before it is removed.

She could grow her lilies in pots, place them for the flowering period and move them elsewhere to recover afterwards.

 

daffodils

This year i had a lot of daffodils, and very few flowers, i am wondering should i put some fertilizer on now, last year i waited a long time before tidying them up, it was early May, when i cut them back. What kind of fertilizer should i use? 0304200812, -claregalway, Co Galway Posted: 27/04/2013

Daffodils can be fed as soon as the flowers begin to go. Use any general fertiliser to give them a boost. Too much shade could be a factor in reducing flowering.

  Stunted tulips
 

Stunted tulips

Some of the tulips I planted this year seem to be stunted and badly eaten-leaves and flowers. Some flowers are at ground level-some dont even seem to have leaves. Any advice? Alan S, moate, Co Westmeath Posted: 01/04/2012

 

The photograph shows lots of holes eaten by slugs which attacked below, or just at, ground level as the new shoots emerged. Slugs can destroy tulips because these bulbs are natives of dry, well-drained ground in countries where slugs are not so common.

 

Daffodils failed to flower?

Our Daffodils failed to produce Flowers this year but we have plenty of leaves (foliage). We don’t know how this happened? What do we do now? What do we do? & how can we go about getting the daffodils to bloom in full flower next year? If we were to divide some of the daffodils, when is the best time of year to do that? & how do we go about it? gardening, Letterkenny, Co Donegal Posted: 28/03/2012

Five reasons why daffodils fail to flower

When daffodils produce foliage but no flowers they are said to be ‘blind'. The cause is not always easy to establish, but it could be some of the following possibilities:

1. The leaves were cut back prematurely in the previous year. Daffodil leaves should be withered and brown before they are cut back, at least six weeks after flowering and never tied in a knot.

2. The site is too shady - daffodils prefer full sun or light shade and fade out slowly over a few years in heavy shade.

3. Too much fertiliser is used where the daffodils are growing to feed other plants, resulting in excessive leafy growth at the expense of flowers.

4. The clump of daffodils has become congested. Mark the clumps now and dig up replant the best, healthiest bulbs in summer.

5. Narcissus bulb fly has eaten the centre of the bulbs, resulting in clumps of narrow grass-like foliage from small bulbs that form afterwards. Plants in sunny spots are more affected.

IMove them to a brighter spot in leaf now in leaf or when they die back in summer.

Or feed them where they are if not shaded but growth has been poor, using high potash fertiliser. 

 

  Burned daffodil tops
 

Burned daffodil tops

Tops of some daffodils (three clumps) look burned or charred. They didnt flower this year and the tips of some of the leaves also appear 'burned'. Other daffs near them are unaffected but I am worried lest this 'burning' will spread. Scrubber, ., Co Carlow Posted: 06/03/2012

 

This looks like narcissus fire, a fungal disease that withers the flowers and later spreads to the leaves.

It is an occasional problem and all withered foliage should be cleared away later to prevent carry over to the following year.

Or you might prefer to remove the limited number of affected plants right away.

 

Something is eating my Daffodils

I have noticed that something is eating my Daffodils before they have flowered, its looks like something just bit the top off the bud where the flower is, any idea what this might be? suek, Rathwire, Co Westmeath Posted: 28/02/2012

 

This is more than likely snails or slugs which climb the stalks at night and eat the petals or opening buds. They hide under cover by day. Some slug pellets might help.

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