Time to Scale Back Daffodils Your Trim Is Significant

Time to Scale Back Daffodils Your Trim Is Significant

Daffodils are among my favorite spring bulbs because squirrels don’t mind them and I have a reliable display of happy flowers every spring. Knowing when to cut daffodils after they bloom is a good way to ensure next year’s flowers. Unfortunately, this means having patience and dealing with a little mess in the garden. In this article, I’m going to share some tips on when to measure your daffodil, why it’s important and how to manage the foliage when it dies.

Daffodils multiply underground by dividing the bulbs so that the clumps of daffodils in your garden can become fuller over time. I like to plant a mixture with different flowering periods to extend my daffodil growing season as long as possible. In addition to a whole range of yellow daffodils, there are varieties with an orange center, while others are in shades ranging from peach to pink, and some are almost white.

Dead daffodil flowers
If you were able to leave some flowers in the garden to enjoy them (I tend to bring some for a spring dose in a vase), you can finish the plants. Removing an exhausted daffodil flower head helps the plant focus on next year’s flowering, rather than producing seeds. Wait until the daffodil is completely dead before taking a few sharp secateurs and cutting the flower where it meets the stem. You can also pinch them with your finger. Throw the flowers into the compost.

What not to do with daffodil leaves

A year after, on Pinterest or Instagram, I saw a photo where someone had braided their daffodil leaves so that they would look cleaner in the garden when they died. I thought this was pretty clever, so I eagerly braided all the daffodil leaves in my front yard. It turns out that braiding, tying leaves or tying a knot is not beneficial for the plant. In fact, it can hinder the production of flowers for the next year, exhausting the energy necessary for its manufacture.

After the daffodils bloom, the dying leaves are used by the plant as energy to form the flowers for the next year. The plants-both the flower stem and the leaves-absorb the nutrients about four to six weeks after the flowers die, taking advantage of the sun and the spring showers. These nutrients travel along the leaves to the bulb and recharge it for the next year. Tying or twisting the leaves in any way will prevent this energy from returning to the bulb.

When to cut daffodils

Before removing your daffodil leaves, you must let them die completely. If you don’t like the ugliness of the slowly rotting leaves, plant other perennials or shrubs nearby. Hostas, peonies, coreopsis, hydrangeas, nine thorns and elderberries are all good choices. As the leaves of these plants begin to fill in, they will gradually cover part or all of the dying daffodil leaves.

This is actually a good time of the year to plant other things too, because you won’t accidentally dig up the daffodil bulbs. You can see where they are!

Once your daffodil has finished blooming, let the green leaves turn yellow and brown. It will seem like an eternity, but it will take at least four to six weeks. At this point, you can take your pruning shears and prune the dead foliage where it meets the ground line. I find that the foliage is ready when it comes off after a slight drag. Usually I walk around the garden with a glove on and carefully remove all this exhausted foliage.

I don’t usually fertilize my bulbs, but I change the soil in my gardens in the spring with compost. Here is an article I wrote about fertilizing bulbs planted in the fall.

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