Daffodil Care After Blooming – A Complete Guideline

Learning about daffodil care after blooming is important to ensure long-lasting growth year after year.

The plant with yellow hues spreading in spring indicates another long and dreary winter has gone, and it’s time for everything to come alive again.

While enjoying its gorgeous blooms, you should not forget to care for daffodils after blooming to see their beautiful color in the following years.

Let’s scroll down for the details!

About Daffodil 

daffodil care after blooming

Overview

The bright spring color of daffodils is a sign that the spring has come. These flowers, known under the scientific name of Narcissus, have more than 50 varieties.

They can boast small Daffodil bulbs (like Tete a Tete) or larger flowers (as you can see in Gigantic Star Daffodil), creating various choices for gardeners.

While most people are familiar with the bright yellow shade, the blooms also can be orange, cream, white, or even pink.

This reliable perennial plant is easy to grow. It can grow in both full sun and partial shade and does not require complicated soil type. You can plant it in your garden, in containers, or even indoors.

Even with a little care in the late spring, you still can see these beautiful and faithful flowers return year after year.

Lifespan

The plant has a long lifespan. They can live for many years (even 100 years) if you have proper daffodil care after flowering.

Once the season ends, you should snip off the flower head but allow the leaves to stay until they are totally yellow and wilted.

Then, you can leave the plants in the ground or lift and store them in a cool, dry place.

If you choose the first method, you should still remember to move the plants to another location for newly enriched soil to continue blooming.

The second method requires a waiting time of 6 weeks after the leaves wither to get started, which means you can begin to dig up in late May or June.

Blooming Season

In order to know how to care for daffodils after they bloom, you should master their blooming season, including starting and ending times.

Yellow daffodils are March birth flowers, meaning they will show off their yellow shade of blooms in late winter or the beginning of spring.

The length of the flowering season may slightly differ from different regions, yet in general, you can enjoy its beauty for around 4 to 6 weeks.

On average, one bulb can generate approximately 10 to 15 flowers.

What do daffodils look like after they bloom? You may see the blooms become droopy and poor-worn looking.

Their stems and leaves can stay much longer (even for several months) after daffodils have bloomed.

Similar to planting Dutch iris bulbs, you’d better grow daffodil plants in fall to catch the right blooming season. Choosing the proper planting time will help the roots thrive.

You will see them go dormant over the cold winter months and sprout in February (the sprouting time may be in April in some areas).

Daffodil Care After Blooming 

Daffodil Care After Blooming 

Regarding caring for daffodils after blooming, there are 3 aspects that need to be done yearly, including deadheading, foliage management, and fertilization.

Besides, you also should divide overgrown bulbs every 3-4 years (or a maximum of 6 years) to ensure a successful season.

The first three tasks play an important role in creating a healthy and consistent season after season; thus, you need to master and perform them every year.

Meanwhile, the dividing task is not necessary every year. You can do it whenever you see there is a lot of foliage and less flowers. I will tell you more details about the method in the following section.

Deadhead

The first thing you should know about how to take care of daffodils after they bloom is deadheading. Proper deadheading daffodil flower techniques also play a huge role in conserving bulb power.

I advise you to cut off the faded flowers and diseased bulbs once you see them appear, as keeping them is a waste of energy. It’s quite similar to when you deadhead Gerbera Daisies.

Removing dead daffodils after blooming is crucial because if they remain, the plant will continue providing nutrients to heal them. The longer withered blooms and stems stay, the more energy is burnt.

As a result, it will not have enough energy stored for the next flowering season.

Care About The Leaves

What do you do after daffodils bloom? I will tell you a secret: the remaining leaves are useful in conversing and storing energy.

The foliage can give back power to the bulb once it dies. When you work with daffodils, don’t remove the damaged foliage too early.

I understand that once you see the green blades become brown and decay, you may need to fight with your temptation to cut them off.

However, I highly recommend not doing so to avoid a severe impact on the bulb growth in the following year.

Once the foliage is failing, it helps store the nutrients in the bulbs below. The photosynthesis process allows the leaves to capture sunlight and turn it into necessary energy for storage.

This stored energy is useful for the next growing and flowering season.

If you cut the foliage too early, the photosynthesis process can’t happen, leading to weaker bulbs and a lack of blooming energy for the next year.

Resisting the cleaning and clearing of the garden bed is the proper action to take.

I know it’s hard, but you’d better wait for the leaves to totally die off and remove them to ensure the reenergizing process.

Follow the faded old flower stem to the foliage and remove it as close to the ground as you can, but remember not to cut the entire plant to the ground.

Use Fertilizer

What do you do with daffodils after they bloom? Although the plant is quite strong and has stored energy to thrive back, fertile soil with organic matter will still benefit them.

I will tell you when and how to do it properly.

When?

Fertilizing should be done twice yearly: early spring and late fall.

At the beginning of the daffodil’s life cycle in spring, you should use a well-balanced granular bulb fertilizer right before or when the plant just starts to sprout, providing a final boost to its blooming time.

Besides helping the plant to produce flowers more strongly, this dose also benefits the stored energy in the bulb for another generation of daffodil blooms.

The second time, fertilizing will provide better care for daffodils after blooming.

When the yellow flowers have faded in the late season, apply a small quantity of fertilizer to the base to let more nutrients soak down to the bulbs. Therefore, the plant has more power to re-grow.

Remember to use compost at these two points of the plant’s yearly life cycle. If you use it too early in fall or late summer, daffodils can grow in their late seasons, but the bulbs will be susceptible to winter damage.

How?

The plant only requires a low amount of fertilizer for energy storing in the bulbs but not overpowering them.

The suggested proper proportion of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium in the granular fertilizer is from 3-5-3 to 5-5-10. Among them, the 3-5-4 or 4-5-5 N-P-K Range is preferred by many gardeners.

Another option some gardeners prefer is home composting instead of applying fertilizer. If you also want to go for this product, you should do it in early spring and in fall.

The best way to do this is mulching the soil surface with a few inches of compost.

Separate The Bulbs

What to do after daffodils bloom? The final thing to do with daffodils after flowering is to keep the bulbs from overcrowding.

The longer the bulbs stay in the ground, the larger they become and multiply.

However, the plants are truly tough and low maintenance. They can survive through winter without much caring, and overgrown plants do not need to be divided too often.

The ideal frequency is every 3 to 5 years (or even longer). I advise watching out for the plant foliage and blooms to decide when to proceed. If you see too many leaves or the flowers’ decreased intensity, it’s time.

Usually, you should divide in the early fall. Here is how to do it:

  • Carefully make a hole around the plant and avoid damaging the bulbs. Dig the daffodil clumps out.
  • Place the bulbs outside under the sun to make them dry for around 1 to 2 weeks. Once the bulbs get dry, you can easily separate them.
  • Plant the bulbs in the fall and wait for more yellow shade in your landscape next spring.

What To Do If You Have Blind Bulbs?

What To Do If You Have Blind Bulbs

Blind bulbs mean you have many leaves but no flowers. The reasons for this issue include too many bulbs or previous year’s too early foliage cutting.

It can also result from too much watering during summer, leading to rotten bulbs and incapability of dormancy. 

Based on the root cause, I have some tips for troubleshooting the problem. To avoid crowded bulbs, you need to start digging them up and dividing them in the fall.

This process should be done every 3-4 years.

The issue of early cutting foliage can be cured by fertilizer. I recommend you use the one with more phosphorus than potassium and nitrogen so the bulbs will recover again. 

If the location gets too much water, you have no other choice but to wait for the leaves to die back. After that, dig the plant up and replant it in another place.

FAQs 

Does Cutting Help Produce More Flowers?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Cutting will not help you have more beautiful blooms, but you should grow more bulbs.

Another way is to plant different daffodil varieties whose blooming paces are different, so you’ll have a garden full of cheerful daffodils all spring.

Is It Possible To Leave The Plant In The Ground After Flowering?

Yes, it’s possible to leave them in the ground after they produce flowers, as this perennial plant can bloom yearly.

However, many gardeners prefer to remove and store the bulbs in dark places with a cool temperature range for the following year’s replantation.

The Bottom Lines

All gardeners should pay attention to daffodil care after blooming to ensure the flowers will appear again every spring.

Even though this perennial flower is easy to grow and low-maintenance, properly caring for daffodils after they bloom is highly recommended.

Deadheading, foliage caring, fertilizing and dividing the bulbs are what you need to master and do at the proper time. Remember to follow our guidelines above to achieve the best results for your garden.

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Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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