How to Harvest Daffodil Bulbs


Daffodils are an early spring-blooming bulb plant that produces grass-like foliage and a large flower held up by a succulent stem. The flower of a daffodil is distinct with its trumpet-shaped corona that stretches from the middle of the flower, surrounded by the petals. The corona and the petals may be the same color or a combination of pastel colors ranging from yellow to peach. Daffodils multiply freely and, after three to five years, the number of blooms decline due to overcrowding. The bulbs then need to be divided. Store them over the summer and replant in the fall for early spring blooms or replant immediately.

Step 1

Wait until foliage completely declines on the daffodil plants, which happens several weeks after the bloom period when the plant pulls energy from the leaves and stores it in the bulb. The bulb uses the stored energy to produce blooms and foliage the following spring.

Step 2

Dig up the bulbs by pushing the shovel into the soil until the tip of the shovel or fork blade is at an angle and 4 or 5 inches under the bulbs. Push down on the handle to bring bulbs to the surface.

Step 3

Pick up bulbs and separate carefully. They should fall apart from the soil easily.

Step 4

Trim off old foliage left over from the season. There should be very little green left in the foliage. Cut just above the collar where the foliage meets the bulb.

Step 5

Wash off bulbs and put in a warm (70 to 85 degrees F), dry place with good air circulation if storing. The bulbs should not touch while drying. After three weeks, store by placing in a well-ventilated container at a depth of one layer only. Do not stack bulbs or they will mildew and rot. If not storing, replant immediately after separating.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork or shovel
  • Garden gloves
  • Source of water


  • Spring flowering bulbs: daffodils
  • Growing daffodils in the deep south
  • The daffodil-plant of the month
Keywords: daffodils, storing daffodils, digging daffodil bulbs

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.