Daffodils face down in the dirt

– Posted in: Garden Tweets, Narcissus, Weather

High of 88F, a record, perhaps. Can daffodils suffer heat stroke? Some of mine fell over. I took a look at them shortly before nine in the morning, and they were lovely as only a freshly opened daffodil can be. By the time I got home late afternoon, some were already past their prime, and a few were face down in the dirt. There have been other April heat waves, and I understand the blooms browning and wilting. But is it sheer lack of moisture that causes them to fall over, or failure to take it up rapidly enough? Inquiring minds want to know.

I don’t know the variety of these daffodils. I rescued the clump from a neglected area on my neighbor’s property, and replanted them in her garden and mine. Here’s what they looked like last year:hellebores_daffodils

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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Kim April 21, 2010, 3:41 pm

What is the best time to plant daffodils?

Julie April 28, 2009, 2:53 pm

Mine didn’t flop over, but the tops now look scorched. Additionally, my tulips already look decapitated. I think the early summer heat has indeed done its damage. Looks like I’ll be getting my summer annuals in the ground a bit a sooner than I planned to cover up the empty spots.

Julie’s last blog post..Cover Crops Make Weeding and Pests Rare

Margaret Roach April 28, 2009, 6:39 am

Yes, just when some of my favorites were starting to bloom…toast. Seems to be inclined to cool a bit down the road here now, perhaps, but I think the damage is done. Maybe is we just go out and lie down, too, beside them in a posture of total surrender and empathy?

Mr. McGregor's Daughter April 27, 2009, 6:16 pm

I think they get cooked by the heat. The unseasonable warmth knocked out all my Sanguinaria. It happens. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen every year.

Mr. McGregor’s Daughter’s last blog post..The Relativity of Time

Garden Junkie April 27, 2009, 4:51 pm

We had the same weather over the weekend down here in Connectituct (hit 92 on Sunday). By this morning, I had to deadhead nearly every single one of the earlier daffs – totally brown, dried up, and flopped over. So sad….

Garden Junkie’s last blog post..When does a "yard" become a "garden"?

Cameron (Defining Your Home Garden) April 26, 2009, 9:30 am

It was 90+ yesterday and will be again today and a few more days after that. Too hot, too soon!

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Cameron (Defining Your Home Garden)’s last blog post..Heat Wave in April

Kathy Purdy April 27, 2009, 2:08 pm

I couldn’t agree more, Cameron, and it’s even earlier for us than it is for you in North Carolina.

donna April 26, 2009, 7:38 am

It was 83 here on Friday and then 43 and raining on Saturday and all my daffodils have fallen over from the rain. What happened to perfect weather? Oh, that’s right…..there is no such thing.

donna’s last blog post..Yellow Fever

Kathy Purdy April 27, 2009, 2:07 pm

Quite true, Donna, perfect weather is a rare treat, but we all think of it as our divine right.

Blackswampgirl Kim April 25, 2009, 10:05 pm

Some of mine did, too, Kathy, but managed to right themselves once the sun went behind the house and the temps started to cool off. Are yours upright now?

Blackswampgirl Kim’s last blog post..Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – April 2009

Kathy Purdy April 27, 2009, 2:06 pm

Kim, the ones that flopped over stayed flopped over. I am beginning to think it is a defect in the variety. If you look carefully in the second photo, you can see there is one flopped over behind the hellebores. It could even be their stems are not that sturdy and they get blown over easily.

Karen April 25, 2009, 8:11 pm

Yikes! That’s just nuts. I imagine they can be bothered by heat, since their typical blooming time is not so fiery. Hope you get cooler weather soon and they revive!