There are several reasons why daffodils might not bloom well or may fail to bloom all together. Many times it has to do with the variety of daffodil that was planted. Some varieties are better "naturalizers" than others, meaning they will proliferate well and bloom for many years with very little care. For over 50 years Andre's father, Martin Viette, planted and tested tens of thousands of daffodils to develop a list of varieties that naturalize well. For a list of his favorite naturalizing Narcissus, click here.
Nutrition issues - Feeding your established bulb beds with Espoma Bulb-tone in the early spring, right after they finish blooming, and again in the fall is a good practice to follow. This will ensure that there is always a good supply of nutrients available to fortify the bulbs for producing more beautiful blooms the following season.
Avoid feeding bulbs with high nitrogen fertilizers! Lawn fertilizers are packed with nitrogen because they are designed to promote beautiful thick foliar growth at the expense of flower production. This is definitely not what you are going for in your bulb gardens! Feed with a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen (the first number) and higher in phosphorus (the second number) which promotes flower production. An organic bulb fertilizer such as Espoma Bulb-tone (3-5-3) is a great choice. If you use a broadcast spreader to fertilize your lawn, be careful that this high nitrogen fertilizer doesn't fly into your bulb and perennial beds.
Foliage was not allowed to "ripen" properly before it was cut off. Be sure to wait 6 weeks after flowering before cutting the foliage back. This gives the foliage enough time to "feed" the bulb for the following season's production of flowers.
Too much shade - Make sure your daffodils are getting enough sun. They should have at least a half day of full sun in order to produce flowers. Normally, they will flower under deciduous trees because, for the most part, flowering and foliage "ripening" occurs before most trees are fully covered with leaves. They will not grow well or flower under evergreen trees or shrubs because the shade is too dense.
Soggy Soil - Daffodils need well-drained soil to grow well and flower. Overly wet conditions can cause the bulbs to rot and eventually die. Be sure to amend the soil with organic matter before planting.
Bulbs may be too crowded - Sometimes if daffodil clumps are too compacted, they will cease to produce flowers or flower production will decline. If this is the case, the clumps should be divided.