Daffodil Care: What To Do After Flowering

This guide to daffodil care will show you how to properly care for your daffodil bulbs after they have flowered. Gorgeous blooms for season after season are yours to be had!

Just when the earth feels as if it cannot take another moment of a drab winter, daffodils burst on the scene in their various hues of yellow. These cheery faces bring early (although not always long lasting) hope to gardeners everywhere. Daffodils not only brighten up the landscape, they make beautiful early spring bouquets as well.

photo of daffodils in early spring blooming.

If you love spring flowers, check out our guide to planting tulip bulbs here!

Guide To Daffodil Care After Flowering

There are over 50 varieties of Daffodil, also known by it’s scientific name of Narcissus. From small petite blooms called Tete a Tete to the larger, more boisterous Gigantic Star Daffodil, this species boasts a wide array of bulbs to choose from.

Daffodils are robust and faithful, coming back year after year with little work from the gardener. There are just a few rules you need to get the most from your daffodil bulbs. Follow this daffodil care guide to ensure you treat your daffodils properly after blooming. This will allow for gorgeous blooms in the following season.

What Should I Do With Daffodils That Are Done Flowering? When daffodils are done flowering, the best approach is to simply leave the bulb in the ground and the leaves in tact. The leaves will eventually turn brown, and decompose. This takes about 6 weeks. Read on to learn more.

How Long Do Daffodils Bloom?

Just how long will you be able to enjoy your daffodil blooms? There is a range of bloom time depending on your geographic location and the type of daffodil you are growing. On average, however, daffodils bloom for four to six weeks. Once they are past their prime, the texture of the bloom will begin to droop and become worn looking.

The daffodil leaves and stem will stick around much longer. It is not uncommon for the leaves to still be visible several months after the blooms fade.

Daffodil blooms in early spring.

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What To Do With Daffodils After Flowering

No matter how much a gardener loves daffodils, the question eventually becomes, just what do you do with spent daffodils in the garden? The absolute best thing you can do for your daffodils is to leave the spent leaves in tact until they yellow and begin to decompose in the earth.

Leaving daffodil leaves sprawled upon the ground allows them to harness the energy of the sun. Think of this sunlight as food the daffodil will use to grow the next season’s bloom. This “sunlight food” allows the bub to store energy that goes into producing the next year’s bulb.

Even though they are a bit unattractive, the spent daffodil leaves do serve a purpose.

It is best to wait for the left over daffodil leaves to turn yellow- yellowish brown, and start to decompose into the dirt. At this point you can cut off the daffodil leaves.

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Flowering daffodils that need to be treated with care after blooming.

Do You Deadhead Daffodils?

The world would truly be a glorious place if we could dead head daffodils and yield more blooms! Sadly, deadheading daffodils will not result in additional blooms.

You can, however, remove spent daffodil heads, and doing so is beneficial for the bulb. This will allow the plant to focus on pouring new energy into the bulb for next year’s blooms.

Does Cutting Daffodils Encourage More Flowers?

Unfortunately, cutting spent daffodils will not increase blooms. The best way to get more daffodils is to plant more bulbs, and different varieties that bloom at different paces during the spring season.

Beautiful daffodils in a field blooming.

How The Anatomy Of A Daffodil Affects Their Care

Daffodils are a simple plant, with just a few simple but surprisingly interesting anatomical parts. The very life of a daffodil is stored inside a compact bulb. This bulb is the lifeline of the entire plant, storing it’s food in the form of carbohydrates.

After the daffodil is done blooming, the leaves collect energy from the sun to store in the bulb for next year’s bloom. This is why it is so important to “leave the leaves”!

Should I Braid The Leaves Of A Daffodil After Blooming?

No, you should not braid the leaves of a daffodil after blooming. If you braid the leaves of the daffodil, you will reduce the surface area exposed to the sun, resulting in less energy stored and collected.

Should I Tie The Leaves Of A Daffodil After Blooming?

No, you should not tie the leaves of a daffodil for the same reason that you should not braid the leaves after blooming. The plant needs all of the energy from the sun it can gather. And it gathers this energy through it’s leaves!

How To Hide Unsightly Daffodil Leaves

The best way to hide daffodil leaves is to plant plenty of beautiful low growing shrubs and flowers around your daffodils. As spring continues on, these plants will start to gain foliage and flowers. Azaleas and small rhododendron are good shrub options. Peonies are a beautiful flower that will bloom shortly after daffodils .

daffodil leaves after blooming that are still green.
Daffodil leaves slowly decaying on the ground. Leave them until they are brown and decomposed.

Can You Leave Daffodils In The Ground After Blooming?

Yes, daffodils are a perennial, meaning that they will bloom year after year. Some gardeners, however, like to remove the bulbs and store them in a cool dark place, re planting during spring.

How Many Years Do Daffodil Bulbs Last?

Daffodils can last for many, many years! In fact, daffodils can be planted 100’s of years ago and still be thriving to this day. Read this article on old growth daffodils for more information.

A Note From The Author:

We live on a 100 year old property in Oregon. In early spring, the rain is interrupted by a cacophony of vintage daffodil blooms. These unique, old fashioned flowers have graced the property for 100 years. It is fun to know that these flowers have brightened the lives of many throughout the decades. Read more about the history of daffodils here.


In summary, care for your daffodil bulbs by ensuring the leaves get plenty of sunlight after blooming. Do not braid, tie back or cut your daffodil leaves (even if they are a bit unsightly). Cut off the spent bloom to send the captured energy into the bulb. Let your daffodil feast on natural sunlight that is collected through the leaves of the plant after flowering.

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