Daffodils are a sure sign of spring, but sadly, their bloom time is so short. The good news is that a revival next season is quite possible. Many home gardeners leave their bulbs in the ground year round, but others prefer to bring them up and store them until fall planting season, when they can be planted in another part of the yard. Here are some tips on what you can do to cure daffodil bulbs and salvage them for another season.
- Allow the flowers and leaves to wither completely on their own. Avoid cutting them back until they are completely dry. This will usually take about six weeks. Even though it may sound unsightly, the foliage collects the sun’s energy through photosynthesis and pumps it into the bulb below so it can grow the following year. You can cut off wilted blossoms early if you wish, but be sure to leave the stem intact.
- Cut off the blossoms (if you haven’t already) and dried leaves at the soil line. If you’re going to leave them in the field, that’s all you need to do. Normal watering in the garden and winter rains won’t bring them to bud until they’re “ready.” That’s it. If your priority is to bring them in for over-summer storage, skip to the next step.
- Dig deep into the soil several inches away from where the bulb is located. Try to lift the bulb with a clean spade filled with soil and bulb. Be careful not to damage the bulb. Handle them gently, as crushing them will cause them to rot.
- Clean the bulb by brushing off excess soil with your fingers. Any bulbs that are clumped together will probably separate on their own as you clean out the mess. Leave those that are firmly attached to the mother bulb intact. Remove any “caked on” moist soil that is stuck to the bulb.
- Examine the bulbs for any signs of rot, deterioration or damage that may have been caused by munching critters. Discard any bulbs that don’t look healthy.
- Set the bulb in the open air for a while (usually about an hour) until the last of the soil has dried. Then, with a brush or a towel or rag, remove any excess sticky mud.
- Place the bulbs loosely in a well-ventilated bag. Legs cut from a mesh onion bag or a pair of pantyhose or nylon stockings work very well. Inexpensive tulle from a fabric store can also be used to make a bag. Tie off the opening of the bag with twine or twine, leaving enough extra to make a loop for hanging. You can also place them on old window screens set on two boxes or saw horses to allow air to flow beneath them.
- Hang the bag full of bulbs in an area that won’t be exposed to direct sunlight, heat, or moisture. The far corners of the garage (away from the door) are fine, but avoid placing the bag near water heaters or laundry appliances. In general, a shady spot with good air circulation is best.
- Let the bulbs cure. If you’re using a bag and you’ve hung it indoors, you can leave them alone until you’re ready to do the autumn planting. If you used window screens or if you left your bulbs outside, bring them inside and put them in a paper bag for storage in a dark, cool, well-ventilated area.
- Double-check the bulbs before reinserting them. Watch for any signs of rot or mildew and discard any that don’t look healthy. Plant the remaining bulbs and wait for them to bloom in spring!
- Planting daffodil bulbs and watching them grow is a wonderful and rewarding activity for kids. Invite them to participate.
- Daffodils are an easy to grow bulb. Healthy, moist but not wet soil is an important factor in the development of beautiful flowers. Filtered or low sunlight is perfect for these hearty stems of yellow delight. Plant a few plants around the base of the tree for a touch of eye-catching color.
- Daffodils also look great in pots. Use potting soil, not garden soil. Line a large basket (or a wicker laundry basket) with inexpensive burlap, fill it with potting soil and plant the bulbs in the basket. Add some lobelia for a wonderful contrast of color and voila! You will have a wonderful composite garden bouquet!
- If you have no choice but to lift the bulbs during flowering or immediately after flowering, cure them in a reserved bed and keep moist so that the foliage can mature; This will allow the bulbs to build up food stores for next season’s flowers.
- Use caution when working with garden tools.
- Protect your eyes and skin. Keep your hands away from your mouth until you have thoroughly washed your hands with soap and water.
- grow daffodils indoors
- plant flowers
- plant roses
- Build a Raised Planting Bed
- plant a tomato
- choose plants for the garden
- caring for bulbs