can hear the wailing from here. “Why aren’t my bulbs blooming?” “There are a lot
of leaves on them but not a single flower.”
overall cause of a bulb not producing a bloom is either the bud wasn’t formed
or it was damaged in some way. No bud equals no flower.
why your bud might have been killed:
wasn’t enough sunlight last summer or you planted your bulbs in too shady an area.
For the most part, spring blooming bulbs want full sunshine for at least six hours
a day. If you do not give them enough sunshine, they may live but not have enough
energy to produce a flower bud.
might have cut off the foliage last year before it yellowed naturally. If you
cut off the foliage before it yellows, the bulb will not be able to get enough
sunlight to produce a bud. Remember Doug Green’s number one rule for growing bulbs,
“Grow the foliage, the flower will take care of itself.” You might have tied up
the foliage over top of the bulb to give yourself room to plant annuals. This
is an old trick that won’t go away but is still not recommended for growing good
bulb leaves. (Do you think you’d grow very well if you had to hold your arms over
your head all the time?)
might have planted them too early last fall. Once the bulb had rooted and the
ground was still warm, it might have started to produce a flower bud. Once that
bud emerges, it either lives or dies on the soil temperature. An emerged bud that
hits frozen or too-cold soil is going to die and this means there won’t be another
bud for the following spring.
you overfed or overwatered those bulbs. Overwatering bulbs will most often kill
them because they will rot (think of leaving an onion in a glass of water). Spring
flowering bulbs have developed in areas where there is winter-cold and spring-rains
but summer drought. When you water your garden in the summer to keep the annuals
and perennials happy, you are making your bulbs unhappy. Too much water and the
bulbs will disappear taking their flowers with them.
the bulbs have grown up magnificently and multiplied. If so, they might simply
require dividing to produce flowers again. This is not likely in a normal garden
setting but possible. You can tell if there are scads of leaves all coming from
the same small area if the bulbs are too crowded.
You want to know if it is
a disease. The odds are that it is not. Bulb diseases either disfigure flowers
or kill the bulbs. None just kill off the flower bud.