An Alameda Garden: The Elusiveness of Pink Daffodils

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Elusiveness of Pink Daffodils

photo: Michigan Bulb Co.
The last of my daffodils are blooming right now and it is reminding me that yet another year has passed without a pink daffodil appearing in my garden. The only problem is: I planted pink daffodils--'Pink Charm', they were called. They were a gift from my sister and I was so looking forward to them. They've bloomed each year and they are very nice daffodils with a frilly, somewhat flattened cup, but they are definitely not pink. Peach, maybe. Almost but not quite salmon, possibly if you squint. But most decidedly not pink.

I know I'm not alone in my disappointment in pink daffodils. In my quest to figure out where I went wrong, I've searched through lots of forums and websites about the non-pinkness of pink daffodils. Many comments point out that the bulb companies all say that full sun will cause the color of pink daffodils to be washed out, but I noted that instruction before planting and put mine where they would get only morning sun. I thought perhaps it was a soil pH problem that was affecting the coloration, but I can find no information online that indicates that pH level will change the color one way or the other. Ditto for nutrients.

The only clue I've found was a number of comments noting that the color deepened as the bulbs aged. They seemed to become more pink in the third or fourth year. So I guess there's nothing to do but wait and hope that pinkness will come someday. Perhaps the growers should rename this cultivar 'Dum spiro, spero'--While I live, I hope (for pink).

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