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.
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.
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
- 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:
SO. How is that cabin coming along?………..
LOVE your daffodils
Karen you have a good memory. I’m determine in the next month to start fixing up the cabin. I’m finishing up my office space right now as I was really tired of getting oatmeal on my keyboard and pasta bowls littering my work space. My combo kitchen nook/office just isn’t working. Correspondence with peanut butter smudges is not too professional a calling card, so they tell me. 😉
I have always divided my bulbs in the fall after they have all died off and gone dormant. Perhaps I should be waiting until spring. Thanks 🙂
Sarah, I divide and plant my bulbs in spring, because I have no idea where they are after June. In my neck of the woods, the foliage dies back and the plant disappears two months after blooming.
My fiancé owns a house up on Cranberry Lake in the Adirondack Park and remembers, from his childhood, his grandfather planting and growing daffodils there. They ceased blooming some thirty years ago or more because the tamaracks and maples had grown so much and shaded them out. Then a few years ago a couple of the big trees had to come down after being damaged in a storm and, what do you know, the daffodils are back! Who can help but admire that? Good looks and doggedness. (And even though it’s a sad poem, Ted Hughes’ “Daffodils” is quite beautiful: Ballerinas too early for music, shiverers/ In the draughty wings of the year.)
Anne I love your line “good looks and doggedness.” Sounds like a great book title to me, one that would encompass the old and new life at Cranberry Lake. And thanks for the mention of the Ted Hughes poem. Unfamiliar with it, I am I’m now delving into its story, which seems to be a potent and sad tale as you mentioned. I could always fall back on Wadsworth’s “Daffodil” if I need to find rainbows and unicorns.
Tom, love your daffodils and your walkway/drive. I think it is absolutely my favorite spring flower. Looks like spring has arrived in the Pacific NW. That is a good thing because most of the rest of the states has in deep despair.
Thank you Susan. I was just thinking how lucky we are, rainy and mild in our Northwest corner, as California struggles with a serious drought and the snow dominates the forecast east of the Mississippi. Here’s to rain and warming up for them.
this reminds me that i need to do the same thing. actually with lots of things in my gardens!
Jaz, you’re, right my to-do list is the fastest-growing thing in my garden. 😉
Tom your daffodils are lovely. Nothing says spring has sprung better than daffodils…one of my favorite spring flowers!
Thanks Ina, great to hear from you!
Beautiful daffy’s Tom. Alas we have none on our property but hopefully there will be in the future. We were in the valley & in Portland the past 2 days where it is raining cherry blossoms. Such a fabulous time of year!
June were you on a Willamette Valley wine excursion? Sounds like life is good for you and the big guy in your beautiful corner of the world.
Tom, I never thought about dividing daffodils. What a great idea – it’s like getting more flowers for free! Could the same thing be done with tulips, I wonder?
Hi Lucy, good question, and generally speaking I’d say most of the large flowering tulip varieties we’ve come to love don’t naturalize as well as daffodils. They tend to peter out after a couple years. Species tulips which are smaller and more closely related to their wild tulip cousins, naturalize nicely and can be divided successfully for re-bloom later.
Thank you for the wonderful info and tutorial, especially the shovel tip. And I love the pic with your new gate in the background! That is the type of pattern I would love on a deck or gate of mine one day. I always enjoy getting your posts. Lots of Spring blessings, Diana*
Diana, the gate was inspired by the porch rails of Mark Twain’s house in Hartford, Connecticut. I modified the design for my gates. Thanks for noticing!
Your images are making me so eager to see if we got any daffodils this year in the mountains. CAn’t wait! and thanks for the pointers. One day I hope to learn gardening and do it for hours and hours, that’s the med diet I miss.
What lovely photos! I love the driveway.
Is that your writing shed in the back. I love the way it looks. Are there more pictures of the cabin?
Hi Hafiz, Thanks, and yep that’s my little cabin, a work in progress. I post some more pics in the coming weeks.
Why did my beautiful yellow daffodils start blooming white?
What’s the correct depth?
I’m scratching my head on this one Denise. I know some flower petals fade with age, but I’ve never heard of daffodils ever changing colors from year to year. There is a possibility some crazy squirrel planted or stored some new bulbs near the old ones. That’s all I can come up with. Hydrangeas are the only flower I know of where you can change the flower color, through a change in soil pH. Sorry I can’t help you with this. As for depth, as a general rule, I plant the bulb three times the depth of the width of the bulb. So if the bulb is 1.5″ in diameter, I multiply that by 3 and plant the bulb 4.5″ deep.
Thanks for the article…The property behind ours got rid of the jungle— mess of trees and vines that shaded our back yard, and once the back part of our yard got sun, daffodils came up everywhere. They would have been planted before 1994. And now I’m going to separate them to have even more.
Mary, it’s a fun and easy task to spread the daffodil sunshine each year. One spring down the road, you’ll wake up to a garden, field. lane and/or meadow of gold. Every spring, I marvel and delight in their arrival.