Known for their bright yellow flowers that welcome back spring, daffodils add bright color to your garden before anything else begins to bloom. Most commonly planted in the fall to ensure spring blooms, properly preparing your daffodil bulbs for winter ensures they will be ready to burst forth once spring arrives. Daffodils must experience cold weather and a period of dormancy in order to produce blooms, but this must be done without chancing damage to the bulbs.
Plant new bulbs in the fall 6 weeks before the first frost. This gives daffodils time to develop their root system in the ground before going dormant, helping to ensure healthy plants come spring.
Allow foliage on existing plants to yellow and die down completely before removing. Never remove green leaves as the daffodil needs these to store up nutrients for blooming next spring.
Divide daffodil clumps after the leaves have died off. Dig up each bulb clump being careful not to cut or hit the bulbs with your trowel. Dispose of any rotted or diseased appearing bulbs then replant the healthy ones where desired.
Apply a slow release bulb fertilizer to the daffodil beds in fall after the leaves begin to die off and after dividing. This gives the bulbs the nutrients needed for healthy root growth.
Place a thick layer of straw mulch on top the daffodil beds after the ground freezes. This maintains soil temperature and dormancy of the bulbs if there are warms spells in the winter.