Dividing Daffodil Bulbs: Little Work for a Lot of Blooms{24}

Naturalizing daffodils bulbs

This drift of daffodils started out a modest clump. Then I began to separate and replant the bulbs each season . In no time, a few blossoms became many, and stole the show.

In my garden, spring is heralded by a cheerful brass section of daffodils, all eager to trumpet the advent of longer and warmer days. From nowhere, they appear bigger and better than the year before, naturalizing into bouquets of amber and gold. And I say, Hallelujah for their visual song and seasonal promise.

country land blooming daffodils

Redeeming some shady bystanders with a change of scene

 The daffodils down my lane welcome me home this time of year, but some have quit blooming because of the deep shade of a large western red cedar. The tree is going nowhere, so it’s moving day for several clumps of daffodil bulbs. 

How to divide daffodil bulbs

As a bulb, the daffodil rarely needs a gardener’s intervention, but if said gardener wants more daffodils, fewer things are easier than dividing daffodil bulbs and spreading the love. In this post, I’ll show you how to divide daffodil bulbs, and replant them for future bloom. Here’s to a spring concert in your corner of the garden.

daffodils in the shade

1. Select a healthy clump to move.

digging daffodils bulbs

1. With a shovel, cut a circle around the clump.
2. Shovel blade should be at least six inches away from the shoots.
3. Position blade vertically before stepping down to dig.
4. Not Good: If handle is vertical, the blade will be sharply angled and slice into the bulbs.

daffodil bulbs

5. With shovel handle, rock and leverage bulb clump on each side of circle.
6. Lift bulb clump with shovel.
7. Gently shake off soil to reveal bulbs.
8. Return soil to hole.

separating daffodil bulbs

9. Working from the outside of the clump, pull off an individual bulb. A light tug separates the roots.
10. Set aside and continue until all bulbs are free from the clump (40 bulbs in this clump).

planting spring daffodils

9. Dig a new hole.
10. Chop up and loosen soil.
11. Place several bulbs apart in the hole.
12. Plant to original depth.
13. The leafy green growth should be above the soil.
14. The bulb and emerging white stem should be below the soil line.

replanted bulbs

18. Cover bulbs with soil.
19. Gently press down to firm soil
20. Water bulbs to rejuvenate foliage.

big leaf maple daffodils

Blooming friendship: Big Leaf Maple and new spring neighbors

Every year I divide daffodils bulbs and plant them around the property. One year later, I receive many a cheery and floriferous thank you.

Dividing and Planting Daffodil Bulbs: More Info and Tips

  • Daffodils
    • are long lived, and very deer resistant
    • require good drainage
    • prefer full sun, but can take partial shade
    • can be planted in lawns, but must be allowed to die back naturally as the foliage makes the food that is stored in the bulb for next year’s bloom
    • go dormant in the summer
    • are great long-lasting cut flowers
    • are available from bulb supply companies to be planted in the fall, including these favorites of mine:

Thriving and blooming: “Ice Follies” daffodils I divided and transplanted a couple years ago.