How to Care for Daffodil Leaves & Bulbs


Proper care for leaves and bulbs go hand in hand when it comes to healthy daffodils. Healthy foliage provides food and nutrients for developing bulbs, which in turn feed the entire plant as it thrills you with brilliant blooms. Sturdy and long lived, daffodil bulbs are ignored by hungry deer and squirrels and will multiply prolifically with a little simple care on your part.

Step 1

Feed your daffodils 10-10-10 bulb fertilizer in the spring when the foliage emerges. Sprinkle about a handful on the soil around the clump, taking care not to allow the product to come into contact with young leaves. Water it thoroughly into the soil. Fertilize once more about 4 weeks later. Follow the packaging instructions carefully.

Step 2

Mulch daffodils to a depth of about 2 or 3 inches. This will help retain bulb moisture.

Step 3

Water daffodils deeply and thoroughly to keep bulbs and leaves strong and healthy. Supply them with about 1 inch of water weekly from the time early foliage appears until blooming ceases.

Step 4

Deadhead your daffodils when flowers fade. This will prevent them from setting seeds. Plants expend a great deal of energy for seed production. This robs bulbs of food.

Step 5

Allow the leaves to remain on your daffodils until they turn completely yellow and die back. This is the signal that they're through producing food and nutrients for the season. Living leaves nourish the bulbs so that they'll be vigorous enough to produce next year's blooms. It may take several weeks for the plants to complete this process.

Step 6

Plant summer annuals such as moss roses or marigolds around your daffodils if the yellowing daffodil foliage annoys you. These plants don't require excessive amounts of moisture, which is detrimental to dormant daffodil bulbs.

Step 7

Dig daffodil bulbs up once every 5 years. Do this after the foliage matures and turns yellow as the bulbs enter dormancy in the summer. Store the bulbs in a cool, dark, well ventilated location to replant in October. Discard any small, diseased or damaged bulbs and save the larger, more vigorous ones.

Things You'll Need

  • 10-10-10 bulb fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • University of Minnesota: Bulbs: Tulips and Daffodil Care After Bloom
  • University of Illinois: Bulbs & More
  • University of Missouri: Spring Flowering Bulbs-: Daffodils

Who Can Help

  • White Flower Farm: Daffodils
Keywords: daffodil, daffodil leaf care, daffodil bulb care

About this Author

Axl J. Amistaadt began as a part-time amateur freelance writer in 1985, turned professional in 2005, and became a full-time writer in 2007. Amistaadt’s major focus is publishing material for GardenGuides. Areas of expertise include home gardening, horticulture, alternative and home remedies, pets, wildlife, handcrafts, cooking, and juvenile science experiments.