Blind Plants: Why Some Plants Fail To Bloom

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When the leaves were falling in colorful swirls all around, planting spring bulbs was a pleasant activity. You enjoyed the crisp fall day and the beautiful colors in your yard while anticipating the beautiful golden blooms you would have there in the spring when all these bulbs came up and bloomed.  You planted dozens of daffodils, tulips, crocus and hyacinths. Spring would be beautiful in your yard in the coming year.

Well, spring has come and some of your bulbs have sent up their shoots and leaves.  The crocus bloomed first in pretty purple patches. Now the daffodils are tall, with fat yellow buds just ready to burst into their yellow trumpet-like flowers.  That is, most of the daffodils are. There are two sections that have thick leaves but no buds.  There are few gardening problems more discouraging than the failure of a flowering plant to produce blooms.  This is known as a blind plant.
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A blind plant is a plant that is designed to bloom but for some reason does not.  Plant blindness has several known causes but sometimes the cause is never discovered.  Some of the causes are correctable.  Sometimes the effect is just the whim of nature.  To form blooms, plants must have adequate soil and sun exposure, enough water, the proper nutrients and the correct range of temperatures. The wrong temperature, atmospheric changes, genetic factors, too little or too much moisture, disease, pests and other causes can result in blind plants.

A bulb is its own little nutrition storage system that fuels its spring blooms. A bulb that has bloomed previously may go blind from one season to the next, forming foliage but no flowers. Adding fertilizer to stimulate the bulb may help. Sometimes, though, plants are just subject to sudden blindness. Fruiting plants (like tomatoes) with this problem sometimes are helped by pinching off their side shoots.  If that doesn’t work, just get a new plant.  Spur pruning can benefit blooming of apples and other blooming fruit trees.

One way of preventing plant blindness is correct pruning. Plants that only bloom off their old wood will not bloom if you have pruned it all off. Don’t prune them until after their blooming season. Grafting blind rose shoots have produced offsprings that produce even more blooms than the originals. If you can’t save the original bush, there is hope of salvaging some of it. For more tips on keeping your flowering bulbs and plants alive and blooming, follow and read more from Pushing Daisies for lots of helpful information.

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