Why Do My Daffodil Buds Die?
Why do my daffodils buds die? They come up normally with a wonderful bud and then fail to open and die?
If it's an older variety, the do tend to get bud blast (for which there is no cure) and have to be dug out and thrown away.
Some of the modern ones will do this if the bulbs are overcrowded. Dig them up this fall, divide and replant immediately if they are overcrowded.
There is also a disease called "Fire" that causes the flowers and foliage to rot away but doesn't bother the bulbs. Cleanliness is next to godliness on this one along with some serious spraying with lime/sulphur to control the fungus.
Bulb mites will also do this causing the buds/flowers to deform or not open. The cure here is to dig the bulbs and soak them in an insecticide (soapy water) for 24 hours that kills off spider mites. Dig in the fall or after the leaves have yellowed.
That's roughly your choices. I also note that environmental stress is the primary cause of flowering problems but it may not be here.
How to tell which is the problem?
Personally, I'd be looking for the overcrowding first.
Spraying with lime-sulphur is a good idea in any case to knock back any fungal problems and you can do this immediately.
Then the bulb mites (maybe dig one bulb up and examine with magnifying glass in all the little cracks and under the bulb scales). Spraying with lime-sulphur is a good idea in any case to knock back any fungal problems and you can do this immediately.
Shopping Resources for this Page
A wide variety of daffodil bulbs can be found here (including "King Alfred Daffodils" :-)
Flower Gardening with Spring Bulbs Ebook
Doug's Ebooks Can Be Found Here