What to Do With Daffodil Bulbs in Pots After Blooming

If you grew daffodils in containers this spring, you likely enjoyed their cheerful yellow trumpets lighting up your patio or deck But now that these spring bulbs have finished flowering, you may be wondering what to do with the pots.

While daffodils can rebloom in subsequent years, they require some special care over summer and winter to perform their best. In this article I’ll provide tips on how to handle daffodil bulbs after blooming to keep them thriving year after year.

Leave Foliage on Bulbs After Blooming

It’s important not to cut off or remove the daffodil foliage immediately after the blooms are spent The leaves continue producing nutrients that replenish the bulb for next year’s flowers

Allow the foliage to fully yellow and die back naturally, which takes 4-6 weeks after blooming finishes. The leaves need adequate time to transfer sugars and energy back into the bulb.

If you must tidy up sooner, at least wait 2-3 weeks before removing foliage. But the longer you leave the leaves intact, the better next season’s blooms will be.

Continue Watering Pots After Blooming

It’s essential to keep watering your potted daffodil bulbs regularly after they finish flowering. This mimics the natural rainfall they’d receive if planted in the garden.

Keep the soil moist but not soggy as the foliage dies back. Scale back to lighter watering once the leaves turn completely yellow and start browning.

Erratic watering causes bulbs to go dormant too early, resulting in smaller blooms the following spring. Deep weekly irrigation is better than frequent light sprinkling.

Fertilize Pots After Blooming

Applying fertilizer after daffodils finish blooming helps replenish nutrients lost from producing all those vibrant flowers.

Use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. Fertilize pots every 2-3 weeks while foliage remains green.

This feeds the plant while photosynthesis is still occurring so bulbs can store up energy. Stop fertilizing once leaves start yellowing.

Store Bulbs Properly After Blooming

Daffodil bulbs need a dry dormant period over summer to properly prepare for reblooming. After all foliage has died back, you have a choice:

  1. Keep bulbs in pots during dormancy

  2. Remove bulbs from containers for storage

Here are tips for each method:

Leave Bulbs in Pots

To keep bulbs in their pots over summer, store in a cool spot like an unheated garage or basement where they’ll stay dry.

Before storing, remove any dead leaves or other debris from the pots. Clear away an inch or two of old topsoil and replace with fresh potting mix.

Water sparingly, just enough to keep soil slightly moist. Pots can remain in this spot for rehydrating and replanting in fall.

Remove Bulbs From Pots

Carefully dig bulbs out of pots, keeping their root systems intact. Gently brush off old soil and cut off dead foliage.

Place bulbs in paper bags or loosely woven baskets with good air circulation. Store in a cool, dry spot like a basement or garage.

Check bulbs occasionally for rotting and discard any that are soft or damaged. Replant the healthy bulbs in fresh soil in fall.

Repot in Fall for Winter Growing

Around late September or October, pot up stored daffodil bulbs or replant those left in containers.

Use fresh potting mix amended with bulb fertilizer or bone meal. Bury bulbs to the recommended depth according to variety.

Water well and move pots to a sunny, protected spot outdoors. Bulbs will root before going dormant for winter.

For an extra early spring display, keep pots in a cool greenhouse or unheated garage over winter. Bring inside once shoots emerge.

Expect Some Bloom Decline

Don’t be disappointed if saved daffodil bulbs produce smaller or fewer blooms the second year. Flowering capacity decreases without a proper cold dormancy period.

But with proper care, potted bulbs should provide a decent display for 2-3 years before needing replacement.

To maximize blooms, you may want to supplement saved bulbs with a few new ones each fall.

Enjoy Spring Bulbs Year After Year

With some simple post-bloom care, you can perpetuate the joy of potted daffodils beyond one season. Leave foliage to nourish bulbs, water and fertilize regularly, then store bulbs properly. In fall, replant in fresh soil enriched with nutrients.

With attention to their needs, your hardy daffodil bulbs will thank you with cheerful flowers year after year!

Bulbs in Pots: A “One Hit Wonder” or A Lasting Treasure?

I’ve received lots of inquiries lately regarding bulbs planted in pots. The pretty pots of hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils in full bloom that are sold at the nearby grocery store. If you’re like me, you’ve probably bought one (or at least thought about it) and brought a little bit of spring into your home with you. We all can’t wait for spring, and who wouldn’t want a little reminder that it will come?

You brought home a pot of cute little daffodils or a very fragrant hyacinth, or maybe you signed up at church to get an Easter lily in a pot, and they bloomed beautifully for a week or two. But what do you do with these pretty indoor bulbs once they’re done blooming? Was the money you spent on this pot of once-blooming flowers wasted? Do you have to throw away the pot and the bulbs like it was a fresh flower arrangement? Of course not! You can replant the bulbs in your garden or another pot and enjoy them for years to come.

What to Do with Bulbs in Pots after Flowering

  • If the plant has stopped blooming, stop watering it and let the leaves die back.
  • Once the leaves are brown and dry, take them out of the pot by gently pulling on them until they break off from the bulb and come up. If the leaves are hard to pull away from the bulbs, wait a little longer. It is important to not remove the foliage prematurely. For the next year’s flowers, the leaves help the bulbs get stronger.
  • Remove the bulbs from the dirt and dust them off. Check for any rotten or soft spots on bulbs. If these spots are visible on any bulbs, discard them. Allow the bulbs dry out on a piece of paper. The bulbs should be dried and stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. Alternatively, if the weather is good enough, you can plant the bulbs straight in the ground.

Aftercare For Daffodils Grown In Pots! What To Do When Flowering Is Over | Balconia Garden


How to save bulbs from potted daffodils?

Set the pots in a cool, dry place in a basement, garage, or shed. Alternately, remove the bulbs from the soil, clean off dead leaves, and allow them to go completely dormant in a paper or mesh bag full of bone-dry coir (coconut fiber) or vermiculite if you have it.

Do you take bulbs out of pots after flowering?

After flowering, move the container to a less prominent position until the following spring, or replant the bulbs into your borders – see our advice pages on planting bulbs and naturalising bulbs, and a step-by-step guide to planting bulbs in grass.

What to do with daffodils in pots once flowered?

After your display is over, wait for the daffodils to die down completely so the nutrients in the leaves can be returned to the bulbs. This is a good time to feed the bulbs, as they will store nutrients until they are needed the following spring.

Can you leave daffodil bulbs in pots?

This can cause many issues for your daffodil bulbs, such as flowering too early or too late, bulb rot, and frost damage. If you plan to leave your daffodil bulbs in their pots, there are a few things that you can do to ensure your springtime blooms will come back with as much vigor as possible.

How do you remove daffodil bulbs from a pot?

You can remove your daffodil bulbs from their pot once all of their foliage has died back. You can usually tell your bulbs are ready to be removed from their pot once their previously lush, green foliage has turned brown, withered, and feels very dry. These leaves will also break away from the bulb very easily, with very little force needed.

How do you keep daffodils blooming?

Simply snip off the spent blooms, being careful not to damage the leaves or stem. You can also remove any yellowing foliage at this time. To help your daffodils prepare for next year’s bloom, continue to water and fertilize them until the foliage dies back naturally. This will help the bulbs store energy for next year’s growth.

How do you care for daffodil bulbs?

Gently work it into the soil, ensuring the bulbs remain undisturbed. Daffodil bulbs are extremely low maintenance and do not really take much in the way of looking after. As long as you let the leave continue to grow after the flower has gone, they will still be able to store enough energy to flower the next spring.

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