What To Do With Daffodils After Flowering In Pots? (Explained)

Daffodils flowering in pot

Just because your daffodils have bloomed, doesn’t mean the game is up for them.

You could potentially have a beautiful display from the same bulbs next year as well.

If you want to know what to do with daffodils after they have flowered in pots, we have the answer for you.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

What To Do With Daffodils After Flowering In Pots?

Once the foliage has completely died (usually after around six weeks), remove the leaves. Then either plant the bulb outside prior to the first frost in Fall, or put it in a brown paper bag and keep it chilled in the fridge for 10 to 12 weeks ready to replant afterward. With a little care and attention, your daffodil bulbs should bloom year after year.

Step #1: Let Them Die Down

There are several slight variations on the theme of how you let your daffodil die down after flowering but they all follow the same principle.

Once your daffodils have stopped blooming, reduce and stop watering them.

This tells the daffodil bulb that the growing season is over.

Step #2: Don’t Remove Dead Leaves Too Early

You need to then wait until the foliage has dried up completely, this will take at least six weeks.

Before this point you can remove dead flowers, but you shouldn’t not remove the leaves.

Even if the leaves of your daffodil have yellowed they should remain attached to the bulb, as they will still be absorbing sunlight and nutrients.

The leaves are feeding the bulb so it is ready to bloom the next year.

Cutting them off prematurely means there will be no bulbs the following year.

Wait until the leaves are dried and brown, and they should then detach easily from the bulb with a gentle tug.

If they don’t then the foliage still has not completely died.

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Step #3: Check and Replant the Bulbs

Remove the bulb and check for any rotten or soft spots. If some are evident then get rid of the bulb.

Allow the bulb to dry out on some kitchen paper in a cool, dry and dark place. Then:

  • For areas with prolonged cold winters, ie two or three months of temperatures that are consistently near or below freezing: plant the bulb outside in Fall prior to the first frost.
  • For all other areas: put your bulb in a brown paper bag and place it in your refrigerator for 10 to 12 weeks starting in October or November. After this, it will be ready to replant outdoors or in a pot.

Alternative Method 1: Keep Your Daffodil in the Pot

If you are asking can I leave daffodil bulbs in pots after flowering, the answer is yes you can.

In fact, you should be able to grow daffodils in the same pot from the same bulbs for three successive years.

When it dies down and you have removed the foliage, rather than removing it from the pot, you can simply replenish/replace and fertilize the potting soil and move the pot somewhere that is cool and dry but still gets a bit of sun.

However, there are a few downsides to this, which is why I still recommend replanting outside prior to the first frost.

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Firstly there will be fewer nutrients in the potting soil, and not as much room for its root system to establish.

Also, potting soil is much more sensitive to temperature changes in the air.

This might cause problems for your daffodil and cause it to flower too early or too late, or put it at risk of bulb rot or frost damage.

Alternative Method 2: Storing the Bulbs

Whilst storing the bulbs in the refrigerator is my ideal option if you live in somewhere that has milder winters, there are other choices.

And you might feel a bit more comfortable with them as fruit and vegetable give off a chemical called ‘ethylene’ whilst they ripen which can cause bulbs to rot.

Alternatives include:

  • Placing them in a pair of old tights and hanging them in a cool spot like a shed or garage. The material will allow air to circulate and prevents mold from forming on the bulbs.
  • Storing in a cool dry area buried in wood shavings or animal bedding.
  • Put them in a stacking tray in a cool dark location.

As you can see it is mainly about keeping them cool and making sure air can circulate around the bulb to prevent moisture and mold from forming.

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Final Thoughts

Daffodils in pot

Don’t throw away your daffodil bulbs after they have flowered in pots, as you can continue to grow them year on year!

As long as the bulbs don’t have any soft spots or evidence of rot they will be good to go again the next year with just a little TLC.

We’ve outlined the steps above to make sure they can bloom again the next year, and they are simple, either plant the bulb outside prior to the first frost or store it in a cool, dark place.

So if you wanted to find out what you do with potted daffodils after they bloom, now you know!

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