Daffodil Bulb Storage - Knowledgebase Question

San Francisco, CA
Avatar for bmclean
Question by bmclean
November 5, 2001

Every year, I put thousands of daff bulbs in pots & planter boxes mainly & then pull them out and store them until the following Fall for replanting, topping up the supplies each year. I understand the concept of letting the stalk die back naturally after bloom before pulling, cleaning and storing the bulbs but my question is, does this process have to happen in the ground i.e. a couple of weeks or so after the bloom is gone, can I pull up the whole stalk and bulb and let the stalk die back out of the ground thereby allowing me to get an earlier start on getting my Spring starts into the ground in a timely manner? Sure would appreciate your advice on this cuz I get very antsy in the spring waiting for the foliage to die back. Thanks.

Answer from NGA
November 5, 2001
I, too, share your impatience for getting the season going without having to wait for bulbs to finish maturing before digging and storing them. Unfortunately, the foliage needs to die down naturally to provide the utmost benefit to the bulbs. If you dig the bulbs too soon, the roots will wither and the bulbs will lose moisture before the leaves have finished transporting energy for next year's bloom. I plant my bulbs in plastic pots and bury the pots in the ground. Then, when the blooms fade, I pull up the pots and store them in an out of the way place. After the foliage has died down naturally I remove the bulbs from the pots and store them for replanting. This free's up planting space and still provides the bulbs with ample time to ripen before storage. Hope this hint will help you hurry spring in your own garden!

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