Daffodils naturalise in an area over a period of years, overtaking beds and field areas where they are planted. If your garden plan changes or if the daffodils become overgrown and a nuisance, it may be time to remove the bulbs. Daffodils only bloom in spring, with the foliage dying back about six weeks after planting. Once the foliage is dead the bulbs are hard to locate so spring is the best time for daffodil bulb removal.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Garden fork
- Burlap sack
Loosen the soil in the bulb bed with a hand-held gardening fork. Dig carefully around the bulbs if you want to save them for later replanting. Break up the soil to approximately a 6-inch depth.
Slide a trowel under the bulbs and lift them out of the soil. Dispose of the bulbs if you are removing them permanently.
Brush the soil off the bulbs if you are removing and transplanting them. Dispose of any damaged or rotting bulbs. Twist apart bulbs that are stuck together, as these stuck-on bulbs are new bulbs and can be planted the same as the existing bulbs.
Cut off any remaining foliage with a pair of shears and break off the remaining roots. Replant the bulbs immediately or store them in burlap sacks in a cool, dry area and replant in fall.
Tips and warnings
- If you must wait until summer or fall to remove the bulbs, mark their location with a plant marker in spring so they are easily found.
- Water the bed before digging as moist soil is easier to dig into than a dry bed.
- If you are replanting the bulbs do not dig them up until after the foliage dies back on its own, otherwise they will not store nutrients and may not survive.
- Do not store the bulbs in an area that receives direct sunlight, as this will damage and kill the bulbs.
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