To a gardener, few things are as dreary as the long, icy month of February. One of the best ways to brighten your home during cold months is by forcing bright bulbs such as daffodils, so that they bloom in the dead of winter. Once the flowering ends and spring begins to arrive, transplanting container-grown daffodils will probably be your next thought. Planting forced daffodils in the garden is possible, but there are some special techniques and precautions you should be aware of first.
Transplanting Container Grown Daffodils
Forcing bulbs like daffodils to bloom out of season is relatively easy, although it takes quite a bit of time, and it takes a lot out of a bulb. Many gardeners consider these bulbs spent and simply discard them.
If you’re frugal and want to try to transplanting spring daffodils, keep in mind that they probably won’t have the energy to flower for two or three years. There are things you can do, however, to help the plant get ready and increase the odds of getting new daffodil flowers after only one year.
How to Transplant Daffodils to the Garden
Treat the forced daffodil bulbs like prized plants in the garden. The better conditions you give the daffodils, the more energy they’ll be able to produce for growing a large, strong bulb. Moving daffodils after flowering will be more successful if you prepare them during the early spring months.
Clip off the blooms when they begin to wither and die. This will eliminate energy from being diverted into possible seed production. Put the potted plants in a cool and sunny location and keep the soil moist, but not soggy, at all times. Grow the leaves as a houseplant for as long as they stay green.
When the leaves dry out and die off, dig up the bulbs and store them in a paper bag in a cool, dark place until fall. If you don’t have any place to store the bulbs, plant them directly into the garden. Plant them about 8 inches (20 cm.) deep and keep the ground moist to encourage strong root production.
Once you learn how to transplant daffodils to the garden, you can transfer this knowledge to any forced bulb you may receive as a gift. Amaryllis, crocus, and tulips are popular gifts between the Christmas holidays and early spring, and transplanting all of these bulbs outdoors will eventually increase your perennial garden with very little extra effort.