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August 25, 2018
I have a daffodil bed that I planted last winter. The flowers were beautiful this
spring. I tried planting some wildflower annuals in the bed for the summer but they
failed. Or more truthfully, I failed them. I have some parsley plants there that
I hoped would be habitat for whichever butterflies like parsley. Now I’m wondering
if I could make a succulent bed there. Do you think the daffodils would come up through
sedum? I’m most interested in the daffodils surviving and thriving, of course.
Oh, the bed is in partial shade, sunny in the spring until the trees get leafy. And
not great soil.
Daffodils can be under-planted around annual plants and will pop up in and around
them. The same would be true I would think for succulents as long as they are not
so dense that they would suppress any bulb growth. I actually think the less water-needy
plants would be beneficial to the underground bulbs during the summer growing months,
because you would not keep the area as moist. That being said, keep in mind that
the six week period following bloom on the daffodils is when they do need sunlight
and some care, since that is when they are setting their flower buds for the following
March 17, 2018
There is an old someplace on my property in Beebe AR that contains hundreds of daffodils.
I have a dear friend who wants some. Can they be moved now or do I have to mark them
and wait till November.
You have several options. One is to dig up the bulbs after they finish blooming and
replant immediately in the new location allowing the foliage to die down naturally.
Sometimes the shock of transplant causes the leaves to die down too quickly and they
don't get the requisite 6-8 weeks of green growth following bloom that is needed to
set good flowers for the next season. This would result in fewer flowers next spring,
but by the following year they should be back to peak bloom. The second option is
to allow them to grow for 6-8 weeks after bloom, then dig them up and move them.
You can immediately replant if you know where you want them, or cut off the foliage,
dry the bulbs and wait to replant next fall. I would not wait until November to move
them, since they will be dormant still and you won't know exactly where they are,
and could damage the bulbs digging them up.
June 17, 2017
Recently I had to replace a shrub and it involved digging up about 2 dozen daffodil
bulbs. These are no ordinary bulbs. I moved them from my grandmother's yard in northeast
AR. They are about 50 years old and precious to me. Now they are tied up in old
panty hose and in our garage. Can they safely stay there until fall planting time?
Should they be in my refrigerator? Should I replant them? Please advise me - I just
cannot lose them.
Your daffodil bulbs should be fine stored as they are until fall planting. Keep them
in cool, dry place until fall. We normally start planting spring bulbs in October
– December. Check the bulbs periodically. If any of the bulbs got injured during
the process of being dug up they can deteriorate. I also hope you dried them for
about a week after digging. I have stored some in a cardboard box that I filled with
shredded paper or shipping peanuts and then stored in my garage on a shelf. If they
were really wet when you put them in the pantyhose they could mold, so check them
and see how they look. They should be relatively dry, and firm to the touch.
May 1, 2017
For the second year in a row, my double blooming daffodils have come up, produced
a flower bud and then, nothing. The flower buds never open, they simply turn brown.
The leaves look fine, but I am not getting any flowers. What am I doing wrong? I
fertilize, let the leaves die down naturally and I think they get plenty of sunlight.
The problem is more than likely the variety you are growing. Doubles, or flowers
that produce extra petals, are better planted in northern climates. When they are
subjected to extreme variables in temperatures which we often get in Arkansas, they
are subject to blasting--or killing the flower bud. Some varieties are more prone
to this than others. Consider planting a different variety next fall and see what
February 1, 2017
If you thin or transplant the bulbs of daffodils after the shoots have started showing,
will they still bloom that season?
If you have options, I would let them flower and then move them. Moving them once
they begin to grow can be done and they may still bloom if you do little damage, but
it may shorten their bloom period since you are severing some roots. They can be moved
immediately after bloom or when the foliage begins to die back. If you move them
soon after bloom, be sure to leave the foliage in-tact for the requisite 6-8 weeks.
October 1, 2016
I have a raised flower bed that contains several hundred daffodil bulbs. This bed
has become overrun with weeds. Can I spray the weeds with roundup and not destroy
The daffodils are still totally dormant so spraying with Roundup on the surface will
not impact them. You would not want to spray if any bulb foliage were present.
(January 2, 2016)
I already have daffodil foliage coming up in my garden and I think it is a bit early.
Last year I had very few blooms. Do daffodils eventually play out and stop flowering?
What is their life expectancy? Is there anything I can do to make them bloom again?
Early daffodils are up in many gardens. Our milder weather has not slowed them down
like last year. There is no life-expectancy for daffodils, but if they get too
crowded they won’t bloom as well and if they are growing in too much shade after bloom,
they will not get enough energy to set flower buds. If you want to make a difference
for next year’s flowering, the time to divide them or move them to a sunnier location
is immediately after flowering. It is the 6-8 week period following bloom when spring
flowering bulbs set their flowers for the following spring. Digging, dividing and
replanting in a sunny spot with a little fertilizer and water, and keeping the foliage
healthy and green for at least 6-8 weeks should result in showy blooms next spring.
Now that our daffodils have stopped flowering, can we cut them down or is it best
to leave them alone to dry up on their own?
Daffodils, as all spring bulbs, need a minimum of six weeks of foliage growth after
blooming to generate energy for a flower next spring. If you cut the leaves off right
after flowering, you will get some leaves next year, but no blooms. You can let the
foliage die back on its own, but in a mild season, such as we had last year, you may
still have daffodil foliage into July, and that isn’t really necessary. An easy tip
is to wait until the last spring bulb in your garden has finished blooming, then count
out six weeks on your calendar and put a red X there. When that date rolls around,
you will know that every bulb in your garden has had at least six weeks of growth
and they all can be cut back.
I live in Fayetteville on a road that is being widened by the city. I had some bulbs
along the driveway—including daffodils and hyacinths that I dug up this summer and
stored in old pantyhose in a shed. I was planning to plant them this fall but never
got around to it. Will they be ok to plant next fall if I leave them in the shed
until then, or should I try to get them planted now?
Plant them as soon as the ground is workable. If you wait until next fall, chances
are there won’t be any bulbs left to plant—they will have dried up. Even though a
shed or garage can protect bulbs from freezing, they should have been getting the
needed chilling hours inside the shed. Both daffodils and hyacinths need on average
10-16 weeks of temperatures below 45-50 degrees. I know my attached garage has been
colder than that these past few weeks.
I'm afraid I've made an error and hope it's redeemable. Probably in mid-late February,
before the last freezes, I dug up and separated 100-200 daffodil bulbs that I had
planted for storage near my garden. They had been there for several years. Many of
them had begun to grow above ground and after separating I stored them in boxes of
saw dust for perhaps one or two weeks before planting them in new locations. I planted
them in a good soil mix and fairly deep, probably 6"-10," most of the tops below ground
level. I thought they would grow but so far very few tops have poked up. At this point
I'll be happy if they don't rot in the ground and will come up next year. If, however,
I've committed an egregious error and doomed these bulbs to decay then I'll just dig
up some more and plant them in these holes at the proper time which I think you recently
mentioned was fall.
I don't think you have lost them, but you did not want them to re-sprout this late
in the season. I don't think you will have many blooms next spring, because I seriously
doubt they had completed their life cycle for the year by mid to late February. In
the future, if you have bulbs that need to be divided you have several options: one
is to dig, divide and immediately replant, leaving the foliage in-tact - allowing
it to die down naturally on its own. The second option is to wait until they have
completed their six week process of growth after bloom, then dig, divide and either
replant or store until fall. Spring bulbs have everything they need stored in the
bulb. They go through a resting period following bloom until the following fall/early
winter, when the roots begin to grow, and the stems elongate. After a chilling period
they can stretch their stems, bloom and then replenish themselves in the 6-8 week
period following bloom to start the cycle over again. For now, wait for next spring
and see what you get.
I have several questions in regarding trying to send daffodils to my sister in south
central (zone 4) MN. The daffodils have to be dug up in the next week or two because
of a construction project. I'm not worried about the ones I'm going to replant, but
my sister wants some also. I will be seeing her in MN over Memorial Day week-end.
So "HELP”!!! I don't mind planting the bulbs now and digging them up later. Daffodils
do not do very well in zone 4, but my sister loves them as much as I do and would
love to try something new.
If the plants have to be dug before they have had six weeks of foliage growth after
bloom, they will need to be replanted intact, with their green foliage. Then let
the bulbs grow until the foliage dies back. If it has been at least six weeks since
they bloomed, or if you can wait that long before digging, you could dig up the bulbs
and dry them. For your garden, they could simply be replanted, if you know where
you want them to grow, or you could store them for fall planting. For your sister’s
bulbs, once they have had the required growing time, lift and dry the bulbs. Store
the dried bulbs in a cool, dry place before transporting them to Minnesota. I do
not know when they plant up there, but the bulbs should be fine until planting time.
IF you lift them before they have had six weeks of after-bloom growth, you will still
have live green growth, but they won't bloom next spring.
If you can move them without much damage, they should still bloom, but sometimes it
does shorten their bloom period. However, to be on the safe side, I would wait until
immediately after bloom. If you move them after bloom, be sure to leave the foliage
in-tact for the requisite 6-8 weeks.
There is an un-irrigated area of my yard between the driveway and property line in
which I would like to plant bulbs. Will bulbs flourish with rain water only? If
so, which ones, and when should I plant them?
Most of the spring bulbs will do very well, since we get ample moisture during their
growth period--winter through spring, and they prefer it to be dry during their dormant
summer months. Daffodils, tulips, crocus, and hyacinths should all do well, and are
all best planted in the fall.
We have a lot of daffodils at our back fence. There are only a few that bloom. Do
you know why that is? Are they planted too deep?
The reason daffodils don't bloom is usually either too much shade, or they are too
crowded together. If either of the above situations is occurring, then you should
solve the problem now--either dig and divide, or replant in a sunnier location. After
replanting, let the foliage die back on its own, and they should bloom for you next
My daffodils have become quite dense this year. When is the best time to separate
If they are so crowded that it is impacting the blooms, dig and divide them as soon
as blooming is over. You want to keep the foliage in-tact and try to keep it green
and healthy for six to eight weeks. The green growth period following bloom is when
bulbs are replenishing the energy they need to set flowers for next season. If you
still have plenty of flowers, but they are just getting crowded, you can wait until
the foliage dies down in late spring, dig them up and divide them, then either replant
or store until fall planting. Remember that when the foliage dies back the complete
cycle for the bulb is complete—the flowers are set for next season.
I live in south eastern Arkansas. I just bought 70 daffodil bulbs. Could you give
me some tips on planting them?
This is an ideal time to plant spring bulbs. Make sure the site has good drainage.
Plant the daffodil bulbs two to three times the size of the bulb deep in the ground.
No fertilization is needed at planting, since the bulbs contain everything they need
to grow and bloom next spring. Some people like to add bone meal at planting to aid
in rooting, but it isn't a necessity. Group your daffodil bulbs together to make
a strong impact next spring. A block of color makes a greater statement than a long
row of color. I find it easier to till up an area and mass plant versus digging a
hole for each individual bulb. Daffodils are one of the toughest of the bulbs, and
rarely need much care. Make sure they do receive some sunlight in the six week period
following bloom, and consider fertilizing them when you see the flower stalk emerging
next spring. A general complete fertilizer such as 13-13-13 would work fine.
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