How to Dig & Store Daffodil Bulbs

Overview

Daffodils, with their bright yellow flowers, are often some of the first blooms to grace the garden in spring. As hardy bulbs, daffodils rarely need to be disturbed once planted. They do need to be dug up and divided every three to five years, or you may need to the move the bulbs as your landscaping needs change. Usually it is best to replant them immediately after digging so they can quickly re-establish in their new spot, but if this isn't possible you can store them for a short period of time without any long-term damage to the bulbs.

Step 1

Cut the foliage off at ground level once the leaves yellow and die back naturally. This is usually about six weeks after the daffodils have finished flowering.

Step 2

Dig around the bulbs with a narrow trowel, taking care not to hit the bulbs with the trowel. Dig down below the bulbs then slide the trowel under them and lift them out of the soil.

Step 3

Brush the excess soil off the bulbs and examine them. Dispose of any that have soft spots, cuts or other signs of disease or damage. Twist apart bulbs that are joined together, dividing them prior to storage or replanting.

Step 4

Spread the daffodil bulbs out on newspaper in a warm, well-ventilated room where they are not exposed to bright sunlight. Leave them to dry for 24 hours.

Step 5

Fill a shallow box with dry peat moss. Set the bulbs into the peat moss, arranging them so that the bulbs are not touching each other.

Step 6

Store the bulbs in a 55 to 65 degree F location until you are ready to replant them in fall. Choose a dry, well-ventilated area that is not exposed to bright light and is pest free.

Tips and Warnings

  • Daffodils should not be stored for more than two or three months, as long-term storage causes the bulbs to wither and die.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
  • Trowel
  • Newspaper
  • Box
  • Peat moss

References

  • Oregon State University Extension: What to do With Withered, Finished Hardy Spring Bulbs
  • University of Illinois Extension: Bulbs and More- Planting and Care
Keywords: digging daffodil bulbs, daffodil bulb storage, spring bulb care

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.