Do or Die Daffodils

A question came in this week from a concerned gardener:

I bought a potted daffodil plant which originally had 3 beautiful
daffodils in bloom. They are not gone with no new potential blooms.
What should I do with the bulbs. Plant them outside now or ??  Thank you.”

Daffodils are the kind of bulb that come back year after year, but like most bulbs, they send up one flush of flowers and then they are done for the season.  Many people transplant bulbs into their garden after the foliage has died away.  Some bulbs that are sold for holidays are what we called “forced”.  This means that they’ve been forced out of dormancy before their time and as a result, they bloom in the middle of winter for your holiday table.  Forced bulbs often don’t bloom again, regardless of whether you plant them out in the garden or not.  Others do just fine. 

So – that said – I would plant those daffodils out in the garden and see what happens.  If they weren’t forced, they should re-bloom.  First, however, you need to wait for the foliage to die back.  As the foliage dies, the bulb is taking in nutrients for next year’s flower, so don’t cut away the unsightly foliage.  Just put the plant outside out of sight until the whole thing turns brown and says goodnight.  Then remove the bulbs from the soil and plant them in the garden.  Next spring you will most likely see your daffodils again.

Thanks for writing in!


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