Q&A: Nonblooming Daffodils and an Unruly Shrub

Question: Potentilla bushes—I have three of these in my front flowerbed. They have outgrown the space and in the center they look dead. Can I trim them down to half their size now or do I need to wait until after they have bloomed? I also was given what was told to me to be daffodils and they have beautiful green leaves but no flowers. How do I get them to bloom?

Answer: If your Potentilla bushes, or any plant for that matter, has gotten to a point where drastic pruning is required to control its size, then it may be time to ask yourself whether it is in fact too big for the location, according to The Horticulture Gardener’s Guide to Shrubs by Andrew McIndoe. If so, it may be time to replace a few or all of the potentilla with less vigorous subjects. Otherwise, wait to prune until just after they flower.

As far as your non-flowering daffodils, the American Daffodil Society offers a number of scenarios that may be halting their bloom. A few of the scenarios that fit best with your appearance of beautiful green leaves, sans the flowers, are: The feeding of the daffodils with high-nitrogen fertilizer, which encourages the growth of leaves but not the bloom; bulbs planted in too shady of an area, since a half-day of sun is required for them to produce flowers; or the bulbs may be stressed since they were transplants from your friend.

See the complete list of reasons why your daffodils may not be blooming

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