Bulbs Won't Bloom


Leaves yes, flowers no. Why don't my irises bloom? I have planted well over 35 bulbs in the last few years. Since we don't get a good freeze here, I stored the bulbs in the fridge for a few weeks before planting. They get plenty of water, and have a nice southern exposure. The oldest bulbs come up about February, grow slowly, then die with no flowering. I planted some daffodils this year, and they have spindly stalks and no flowers.
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The irises that were planted decades ago in the backyard do blossom most years, but haven't flowered yet. Should I fertilize them in the winter? Why don't they bloom? We DID have a few days under 40 degrees over Christmas, and other places I've lived in L.A. have blossomed like mad! We're at 1800 feet here, with rather acidic soil and very alkaline water. Help?

Hardiness Zone: 10a

Brandy from Los Angeles, CA

Answers:

Bulbs Won't Bloom

Try giving them some bulb food. Sounds simple but that may be just what they need also they may not be in the right sun zone in your yard. Maybe not enough sun?
Hope that helps.
Jess (04/09/2008)

By Justine

Bulbs Won't Bloom

Also most commercial bulbs are ready to plant and have been refrigerated. Normally it won't require you to do that unless you pull them out of the ground and want to force them to bloom indoors after they bloom and die back.

Sorry for the 2 postings. (04/09/2008)

By Justine

Bulbs Won't Bloom

Make sure your iris tubers aren't planted too deeply. If you completely cover the tuber, they are reluctant to blossom. Only the end of the tuber should be under soil.

For your cold weather bulbs, a few weeks isn't long enough to trick them into thinking they've experienced a winter. They need from 10-14 weeks of refrigeration.

(04/09/2008)

By gannon

Bulbs Won't Bloom

I live in the Los Angeles area and my iris (bearded and Japanese) are just starting to bloom. Some of my shorter ones are still not showing the flower stalks yet. The tubers need to be really almost on the surface, just half buried. I do need to put out stuff to keep pill bugs from eating them:) Also, I never put them in the refrigerator. I know tulips do and daffodils may need that done (not sure, I don't have any), but iris don't seem to need it and neither do narcissus in our climate.

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(04/09/2008)

By Har'iet

Bulbs Won't Bloom

Bulb food would be good because it will raise the pH in the soil around your bulbs. Most (except daffodils) prefer a more alkaline soil. As stated before, irises should be planted with the top of the rhizome just at the surface of the soil. Good luck! (04/10/2008)

By Ashley

Bulbs Won't Bloom

Probably too deep in the soil (04/10/2008)

By mom-from-missouri

Bulbs Won't Bloom

Sometimes bulbs won't bloom the first year they are planted. I think they may get damaged from being uplifted and replanted. I am wondering if this is true for rhizomes as well. I live in USDA zone 5b, and I've had some newly planted iris not bloom until the 2nd year. Also, as others have stated, they need to rather lay on the ground and be just a little covered with soil. Mine stick up out of the dirt. Good luck. The Iris is my favorite flower. (04/11/2008)

By Carol in PA

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