The Q&A Archives: Season for Planting Daffodils

Question: Can daffodil bulbs be planted in the Spring? If not, why.

Answer: Daffodils are normally planted in the fall for several reasons. First off, they are dormant during the summer so they can be lifted and transported or shipped easily and inexpensively as bare bulbs. They also transplant most successfully at that time. Once lifted and stored, they need to be replanted or they will die. That is why they are primarily sold in the fall. Some nurseries will plant their leftover bulbs and sell them as potted plants in the spring.

Fall planted bulbs use the fall growing season to root into the soil and establish themselves, and then most require the cold chilling during winter to set their buds. When the plants are in any stage of active growth (including after bloom when they are growing and then ripening their foliage to replenish the bulb) transplanting them is more difficult but it can be done if the plants are available to you. Note that moving the bulbs while in active growth can stress the bulbs and requires moving the rootball of soil with them for best results.

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