With proper care, your daffodils can last years and years. But what is proper care? What do you do with daffodils once they have finished flowering? Let’s have a look and find out.
Deadhead Old Flowers
If you have the time then it is always advisable to deadhead spent blooms on almost any flower, and that includes daffodils.
Deadheading not only tidies the plant up and makes it look better but it also stops the plant from putting its energy into creating seeds.
We will not be growing daffodils from the seed heads in most circumstances so this is wasted energy, but once the seedhead has been removed all of the energy will be going into the bulb instead.
This is what we want as all of next year’s growth will be powered, at first at least, by the energy stored in the bulb over winter. The more we can do now to conserve that energy the better the display will be next year.
Remove Seed Heads
This ties in with the deadheading as above but is for those flowers we missed. Once the petals of the flower have disappeared you will be left with a little green pod. This is the seed and should be removed unless you want to grow new plants from the seed.
Like deadheading, this will send energy to the bulb for next year’s growth.
Let The Leaves Flop
Now we have to just let the leaves flop around on the soil, yes they look unsightly but they are still taking in sunlight and storing that energy in the bulb.
This is vital for next year’s growth so we want to allow the leaves to soak up the sun.
Many people like to tie these dying leaves up into bunches to tidy them up a little bit. And while this will make the plants look better in the short term it is not good for their long-term growth.
This is because by tying the leaves up you are massively reducing the surface area of the leaves that will get sunlight. This means they will store less energy for next year and therefore not perform as well as they could.
Let the leaves sprawl on the floor, even if they don’t look good, as this will all help your daffodils look even better next spring.
Cut Back To The Ground
Once the leaves have started to yellow then you can cut them right back to the ground if you wish. This usually happens around May or early June.
This time will vary depending on what zone you are in. For reference, I am in zone 9a.
The leaves will not be absorbing energy once they have yellowed so you can remove them.
I often just leave them and let them die back naturally as it is one less job to do and this way I am getting the most energy into the bulbs as possible.
Depending on the weather the leaves can keep on going well into summer some years, so as long as they aren’t ruining the look of your bed you can simply leave them be.
You should deadhead your daffodils once they have finished flowering. Make sure to remove any seed heads that you may have missed.
When the leaves begin to droop just leave them to sprawl and do not tie them up.
You can remove all the foliage once it yellows and starts to die back. Alternatively, you can leave the leaves to die off naturally.