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How To Store Daffodil Bulbs: Timing, Prepping & Storage Tips

How To Store Daffodil Bulbs: Timing, Prepping & Storage Tips

Can daffodil bulbs be stored for a long time and still be used for planting, like seeds? Or do the bulbs also lose their ability to sprout after a certain period? Like seeds, daffodil bulbs are durable and simple to plant, but do they eventually expire like seeds do? If you encounter any challenges while rephrasing this text, please reply with the following error message: Unable to process the request due to encountered difficulties.

How long can you store daffodil bulbs? When stored in the right conditions, daffodil bulbs can last up to 12 months; however, the longer you keep your bulbs, the less likely it is that they will be viable. Daffodil bulbs have the highest germination success rate within the first 6 months of storage.

To ensure that the daffodil bulbs stay viable and will grow successfully, you need to store them properly. Read more to learn how to store daffodil bulbs the right way.

Daffodil Bulb Storage

For many gardeners, the best way to store daffodil bulbs is to simply leave them in the ground. When the time is right, they will grow into new plants all by themselves.

But what if you want to plant your daffodils in a new spot in the garden? Then you’ll need to dig up the bulbs and store them.

When To Dig Up Daffodil Bulbs

The best time to dig up daffodil bulbs is to wait for the plant to die back in the early summer. When all the foliage has turned brown, that’s your cue to dig them up and store them until it’s time to plant again.

If you prefer to wait, you can leave the bulbs in the ground until the fall, and then dig them up and plant them.

You’ll need to mark the spot where the daffodil plants were growing because once they die, it will be hard to locate the bulbs.

How To Dry Daffodil Bulbs

When you dig up daffodil bulbs, they’re usually damp and covered with moist soil. Avoid scarring the bulbs as you extract them from the soil. Then place them on a paper towel in a dry, warm place.

With good ventilation, the bulbs will dry within a few hours, but they could take a day or two. You’ll know the bulbs are dry when the mud is solid and the out layer of the bulb is dry and papery.

How To Store Daffodil Bulbs

Storing daffodil bulbs correctly is the key to their germination success when you plant them. If the bulbs are not stored properly, they could rot or just die out.

Also, keep in mind that daffodil bulbs have a shelf life. After the first 6 months, they degrade and lose the ability to germinate.

Preparing for Storage

Before you store daffodil bulbs, you need to examine them carefully and check that they’re in good condition. There shouldn’t be any scars on the bulb since that would lead to infections that could also damage the other bulbs.

Make sure the bulbs are perfectly dry, and trim any roots coming out of them. Finally, pack each bulb separately in paper, and put the date of storage on the label. 

Storage Location & Temperature

To prevent the daffodil bulbs from germinating or rotting, you need to find a cool, dry place to store them. The basement, garage, or cellar are ideal places to store the bulbs.

Make sure the temperature is between 60 and 65℉. This will keep the bulbs dormant and prevent mold buildup on the skin.

Storage Time

Your daffodil bulbs have a storage time limit of one year maximum. Ideally, you want to plant them within the first 6 months after digging them up.

After 6 months, the bulbs gradually lose their ability to germinate, and after one year, they won’t come back to life when you plant them. 

When To Plant Daffodil Bulbs

The best time to plant daffodil bulbs is in the fall. You have a large window between September and November to plant those bulbs, but if you miss that opportunity, you can plant them any time in the winter as late as January.

However, winter-planted daffodils are slow to develop roots and might bloom later than those that were planted in the fall.

How To Plant Daffodil Bulbs

When you’re ready to plant your daffodil bulbs, unpack the bulbs, and choose an area in the garden that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight and is sheltered from strong winds.

Amend the soil with coarse sand or perlite to improve drainage, and dig a 6-inch-deep hole for the bulbs. Keep the pointy end of the bulbs up, and refill with soil. Pack the soil firmly to push out the air pockets, and water the bulbs to get the soil wet. 

Three shiny metal pots with cheerful daffodils blooming happily inside.

What To Do With Daffodil Bulbs in Pots After Flowering

After flowering, the daffodil plant would have depleted the nutrients in the soil, so you need to introduce fresh soil. You could also dig up the bulbs, dry them, and store them until the next time you want to plant them.

Storing Daffodil Bulbs in Refrigerator

Daffodil bulbs need a chill period before planting them again. If you don’t have a cool place with temperatures between 60 and 65℉, then you can store the bulbs in the fridge.

Place them in an opaque bag, but keep it open, and place the bag on the coldest shelf in the fridge. Don’t freeze the bulbs as that would kill them.

How To Store Daffodil Bulbs Before Planting

When you purchase daffodil bulbs but you’re not ready to plant them just yet, you’ll need to store them in a cool and dry place. Check that they’re dry and not scarred, and then wrap each bulb in paper to store it. You can also keep them in the fridge.

Related Questions:

Can Daffodil Bulbs Be Planted in Spring?

You can plant daffodil bulbs in the spring. They’ll take time to develop roots and foliage, so they’re unlikely to flower that same year. You’ll get flowers the following year at best.

If you want your daffodils to flower, plant them no later than between September and November.

How Many Daffodils Should I Plant Together?

While a single daffodil would look good in the garden, a bunch of them would look even better.

Ideally, you want to plant a batch of 15 daffodil bulbs at the same time to enjoy their delightful blooms. The more the merrier. However, if you’re limited by space, then plant at least three to five bulbs.

Final Thoughts

Daffodil bulbs can be stored for up to a year and still will grow when planted in the soil, but after the first 6 months, the bulb’s ability to germinate degrades gradually.

Air dry the bulbs, and wrap them in paper before storing them in a cool, dry place at temperatures between 60 and 65℉. You can also store them in the fridge, but don’t try to freeze them.