Image by Scott Robinson
By Heather Rhoades
Daffodils are among the most popular spring blooming bulbs grown in the garden. But, when the flower is gone, when is the right time to remove daffodil leaves? If you are wondering “when do I prune daffodils,” you will find the answer below.
When to Cut Back Daffodils
Daffodil leaves should not be cut back until after they have turned yellow. Daffodils use their leaves to create energy, which is then used to create next year’s flower. If you cut back daffodils before the leaves have turned yellow, the daffodil bulb will not produce a flower next year.
When Do I Prune Daffodil Flowers?
While daffodil leaves must be left on the plant, daffodil flowers can be cut off of the plant, if you want. Spent flowers will not hurt the plant, but they do look unsightly. Removing spent flowers is optional, but if a seedpod forms, it may be best to remove it.
Pruning Daffodil Seedpods
Daffodils can be grown from seed, but they may take years to produce blooms when grown from seed. Therefore, it is best to not allow daffodils to produce seeds (they can be propagated from bulb divisions). If a flower stalk produces a seedpod, prune the seedpod off. This will allow the daffodil plant to focus its energy into producing a flower for next year.
Hiding Daffodil Leaves
Some gardeners find daffodil leaves to be a bit messy looking after the flowers are gone. If this is the case, you can do some strategic planting to hide the daffodil leaves until they die. Growing plants in front of or with daffodils that grow and bloom slightly later will help hide the leaves. Some camouflage candidates include: