I read about separating daffodil bulbs in the early summer or fall. Mine didn’t bloom this year except for four of them. Should I dig them up and just leave the leaves on them or wait until they are brown? I just found your site and will definitely use it again. It has great information.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Del: It is true that narcissus, commonly known as daffodils, benefit from being divided every three-five years. If your bulbs have been in the ground this long or longer, it is time to rejuvenate them. The bulbs will naturalize a space by producing smaller bulbs known as offsets. Year after year as the offsets are multiplying, they can become overcrowded and will not bloom as well as they once did since they are competing for nutrients. When this happens, moving some of the bulbs to another space in the garden will help them bloom again. The best time to do this is during the fall so they have time for root development before winter arrives. Dig your bulbs up carefully so you don’t injure any of them and literally pull them apart. If they do not pull apart use a sharp, clean pair of gardening scissors or a knife to separate them. Make sure the bulbs are not soft; if they are, discard them. Transplant the firm bulbs into another space in the garden, planting them twice as deep as the diameter of the bulbs. Feeding them with a product such as Bulb-Tone in the fall or early spring will also be beneficial. For now, it is also important to leave the foliage alone after the blooms have faded so they can store up energy needed for next year’s blooms. Keep in mind that the newly planted bulbs may not flower the first growing season.