When To Cut Back Daffodils?

When To Cut Back Daffodils?

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Growing daffodils but not sure when is the right time to cut them back? Then this is the guide for you, I will talk you through the best time to cut back your daffodils and also explain the pros and cons of doing so!

When To Cut Back Daffodils?
When To Cut Back Daffodils?

When To Cut Back Daffodils

You should cut your daffodils back to the ground once the foliage has begun to completely die off on them. This is usually around May or early June.

You do not want to cut them back when the foliage first starts to droop but rather leave it and only cut it back when it is yellowing and really starting to die. This usually happens around 6 weeks after the drooping stage.

Some of the double-headed daffodils I grew last year

Why Do We Leave The Droopy leaves?

The leaves should be left, even when droopy and untidy as they are still gathering energy through photosynthesis. This energy is then stored in the bulb of the plant and will be used by the daffodil next spring.

This means that the more energy the plant can store now the better it will look come next spring.

This is why we don’t cut back daffodils as soon as the leaves start to droop but rather leave them as long as possible.

once the leaves have started to yellow they will no longer be photosynthesising. At this point, there are no longer storing any more energy so can be cut back.

Don’t Tie Them Up!

It is a common practice to tidy daffodil leaves up by bunching them and tying them together, often using an elastic band.

While this does make them look better it is not a good idea. The reason for this is simple, you are restricting the amount of light that hits the leaves.

This means they won’t store as much energy in their bulb and will be weaker next year. You are much better off letting the leaves droop and sprawl over the ground, even though they can look untidy.

If you are really bothered by how your plants look then try hiding them with other plants.

Do You Have To Cut The Leaves Back?

No, you can just leave the daffodil leaves to die off naturally. this is what I often do as I already have enough jobs to attend to in spring. As such tidying up my daffodils usually gets forgotten about.

You do run more of a risk of letting infection get into the plant’s bulb this way, but after many years of growing my daffodils like this, I am yet to encounter a problem.

Should You Deadhead Daffodils?

Yes, daffodils should be deadheaded. this way the plant will not expend energy in trying to produce seeds but will instead put all its energy into bulb development.

Deadhead Old Flowers

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