The Q&A Archives: Dividing Daffodils

Question: I work on an old donated estate that has a half-mile long driveway, flanked on both sides by a row of daffodils. They produce many green leaves as well as numerous flowers, and have done so for the past 20 years that I have been here. They do not seem tohave produced fewer flowers as time has passed, but I wonder if they should be thinned. If so, are there machines to dig them up and replant them, as the effort to thin a mile of plants is overwhelming?

Answer: Although daffodil bulbs do benefit from lifting and replanting, ususally this is done only when the plants begin to produce fewer or noticeably smaller flowers. If you are ambitious and want to do a small section each spring, here is the method:<br><br>The best time to lift the bulbs is in late spring, when the foliage has died back to some extent, but is not readily pulled out of the bulb. Using a spading fork, gently lift the bulbs, sort to size, and either replant right away, or store un a cool, dry place until fall.<br><br>I don't know of any machines that will do this, so I'd suggest you either wait until the plants begin to show signs of crowding (reduced flowering), then enlist some folks to help, or begin doing a small section each spring.

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