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All leaves no flowers - literally!!!

Discussion in 'Pests, Diseases and Cures' started by Bluedogtails, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. Bluedogtails

    Bluedogtails Apprentice Gardener

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    I have been a keen albeit amateur gardener for 9 years. All I want is a bright, colourful space for my babies to play in and for my hubby and I to enjoy. Over the years, I have tried growing many different flowers in my garden - Lavender, Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinaths, Chrysanthemums, Marigolds, Calia Lilies, Lobelia, Petunias, Pansies, to name a few. I don’t buy particularly exotic or expensive varieties just anything bright and colourful. I have used a combination of bulbs, seeds, plug plants, and fully grown plants bought from mail order catalogues or DIY stores. I have had some really successful yields and others not so good but I think this is more due to human error, e.g. not watering enough or planting too early or too late, etc.
    Now my problem: for the last two years I have long, green, shiny leaves in abundance but no flowers. I planted 100 spring bulbs and got 1, yes 1, daffodil. The rest of them were just green stems and all the leaves that do come up are weirdly tall. Everything is wiry and long. The daffodil stems reached 3ft in height. I actually measured them. Nothing has flowered this year apart from some early poppies which flowered beautifully but the stems were so tall (nearly 4ft) and so thin that the heads just snapped the stems. I bought some fully grown dianthus and within a week the flowers died. I dead headed but got nothing back but the leaves are beautiful and healthy. A friend said it could be something wrong with my soil which is very sandy and crumbly by nature. We live close to an old quarry. No clay at all.
    I have joined this forum in the hope someone might be able to help. I can’t offer much back as I am not that knowledgeable about gardens although I will try to help if I can (whizz on computers though!). Any advice, thoughts, or suggestions, I would really appreciate. I have put in so much effort and this year and I have got absolutely nothing
     
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    • CanadianLori

      CanadianLori Total Gardener

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      Welcome to the forum!

      I am not a bulb person but there are plenty here who will come along and offer great advice. One thing that really helps is knowing your location and what's fabulous for helping is seeing picfures of the culprits too. :)

      Edit: I think it could be your soil too... let's see what the experts say... I too am a perrenial newbie :)
       
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      • CarolineL

        CarolineL Super Gardener

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        Hi @Bluedogtails and welcome! You say your soil is sandy. Do you feed your plants? Actually you need to feed the soil - sandy soil doesn't hang on to nutrients, so would benefit from lots of well rotted manure etc which will also improve its texture. The last 2 summers (I assume you are in UK?) have had quite dry periods - have you watered? Again, sandy soil drains well, so your plants might be a bit stressed.
        However I am surprised by your healthy leaves which would imply decent nitrogen in your soil. Maybe a soil test kit would give more information. Any extra info (and pictures!) would help and I'm sure other people have other opinions
         
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        • CarolineL

          CarolineL Super Gardener

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          • mazambo

            mazambo Super Gardener

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            @Bluedogtails I'd classify myself as you classify yourself "a keen but amateur gardener" so just to say with help from loads of people on this forum what i have learned in particular is plants are different and have different needs, haven't the knowledge to say it's the soil but there are people on here with superb knowledge who can help.
             
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            • Perki

              Perki Super Gardener

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              How deep did you plant the daffodils ? first year bulbs should be near perfect no excuses but for water logging / rot , bulbs at the end of the day are a storage vessel for the plant so they will be full of energy for spring for a least their first spring. I can't see it being your sandy soil seen as lots of bulbs are cultivated on sandy / very free draining soil . Are any other plants showing signs of stress like shrubs and other mature plants ?

              I suspect either you have not planted the daffodils deep enough ? 3x the depth of the bulb is recommend for daffs.
              The bulbs were to immature ( to small ) to be at flowering stage .
              Bulbs may have been stored to long / planted to late ?
               
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              • CarolineL

                CarolineL Super Gardener

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                Hi @Perki agreed planting too shallow might do it, since these have been failing for 2 years. But @Bluedogtails also mentioned some other plants being etiolated (poppy) and nothing else flowering either. That's why I was suspecting something general. And then the options are soil, shade, pests, disease. Pests would tend to show up and disease might also...
                 
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                • Mike Allen

                  Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                  Welcome.

                  All green and no flowers. Inbalance of chemical. Your plants probably have penty if not too much nitrogen. Potash is it seem vastly lacking. This can be adjusted by applying a balanced fertilizer that has a higher rating of potash.

                  Bulb problems. This so often is the result of late planting, planting too shallow or planting too deep.

                  Don't give up. Keep trying.
                   
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                  • Selleri

                    Selleri Super Gardener

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                    Hi @Bluedogtails , welcome to the forum! :)

                    If everything you plant tends to grow tall, wiry and leafy, it could just be that there is not enough light. How many hours of sun does each part of the garden get in a day?

                    Mike's knowledgeable comment on chemical inbalance makes sense to me. Checking your soil would be a one-off effort so that you can target treat it, or just select plants that thrive in your particular conditions.

                    The bulb disaster sounds like bad bulbs, they should be foolproof on their first year at least- but if the bulbs have been stored incorrectly they might fail even when planted in the right depth. I once bought quite a lot of bulbs from an online retailer called something like Garden4You, and everything failed massively. Even the Amaryllis which is impossible to get wrong. :wallbanging:

                    Don't give up, once you crack the nut and know what your garden wants to do you will find the right plants that will thrive. :)
                     
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                    • Mike Allen

                      Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                      Thank my friend for your compliment. I do try to keep non technical. I know what it's like thumbing through a dictionary...what's that mean.

                      I ordered a secection of flag Irises from, Gardens 4You. Waste of money. Yes a replacemnt was sent but with the same results. Thanks to forums like GC, members often post their experiences with different nurseries, GC's etc. I like to believe that adverse comments are not in any way intended to, 'close the firm down' rather to share personal experiences. That is why I beg members old or new, to take a minute or two to search the site and see if this question or complaint whatever has been raised before.

                      I remember an instance posted on a BBC gardening forum. I related to repairing some patches on the lawn. I think the clip was presented by a well known TV personality. Anyway. Miss what's her name, appear with wheelbarrow and tools, including a 'pitch fork' for some members, a pitch fork is a U shaped two pronged fork with a long handle. Yes. You've got it. It's a tool used in pitching hay onto a conveyance or stack.

                      I was pilloried. Perhaps one day I may visit this lady's GC and ask. Please Miss. This plant. Do I have to plant and look after it?

                      Gardening is a wonderful interest. NO! You will never stop learning. On your journey, you will boast, you will hide. You will triumph and you wil perhaps feel the need to die. Don't give up. Enjoy what you have and try and improve. Nobody is out to get you. Been there done that etc.
                       
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                      • Bluedogtails

                        Bluedogtails Apprentice Gardener

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                        5D6CCCF7-3C18-473C-A98F-057D9CE9AD78.jpeg3F42ED44-88B2-4231-AE5B-9CC2F3D0AF25.jpeg Thank you so much to everyone who has responded. You really are all very friendly. I do really appreciate it. I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond. My babies have kept me very busy for the last couple of weeks with teething but I did read every comment and think I have resolved my problem.


                        My aunt is a keen gardener and when visiting recently I told her about posting to this forum. She pointed out a few things:

                        • I don’t get very much light at all. My garden is east facing. Having two really small children I have always appreciated that they can play outside for most of the day without fear of sunburn but obviously I think it is definitely affecting my plants and flowers.
                        • Also, I have very few worms in my garden which I can only assume is not a good sign.
                        I think the way to go as many of you have mentioned is some manure to add some nutrients and maybe to think about planting in different places to get more light.


                        I have added two photographs to this post just for anyone’s interest.


                        I hope everyone’s garden is doing well and thank you so much once again for all of your contributions

                        Xxx
                         

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                        • CarolineL

                          CarolineL Super Gardener

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                          My sympathies @Bluedogtails re teething - it was a long time ago with my kids, but I remember how permanently tired I was! The lavender would definitely prefer more light, but the chrysanth in the churn looks fine. How about growing things that don't mind shade so much, like hellebores, hostas?
                           
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                          • pete

                            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                            I kind of think it probably is a light/ sun problem, lavender in particular needs heat and sun to do well.
                            As to the Chrysanth, maybe the wrong type for pot growing?
                            Those more ball types are good for containers, plus a bit more feeding, it looks a bit starved.;)

                            Stick with it, we all have lots to learn.:smile:
                             
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