transplanting daffodils

engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)January 26, 2009

About 25 years ago, my mother and I were driving down an old country road, when we spotted a bunch of daffodils growing beside the road. There wasn't a house within a mile, and we really didn't understand why they were there. Anyway, we dug some up, and brought them home, where they were planted into her flowerbed. After 25 years, they have mysteriously popped up in several locations throughout the yard. So, over the weekend, I decided to move some into an organized planting around my trees. What care should be considered to achieve maximum growth? Come to think of it....I don't recall them flowering at all last year. Does it take a few years for them to reach the flowering stage? I don't know anything about this stuff, and need some good advice....Thank you for your time.


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When you found them, there likely was a house nearby in the past. I know of a few locations where daffodils grow in our provincial parks in Ontario, and they say that they are the hardy remnants of gardens planted many years ago, for houses that are no longer there. It is amazing, you really would never think there was a house there.

Sounds like they likely are heirloom bulbs ;-)

Generally daffodils need to be thinned out every few years to keep their vigor. Now it is easy to get carried away and think that perhaps the seeded themselves into the lawn, however it is much more likely that a friendly four legged critter dug it up from the garden and moved it to a more suitable hiding place... at least in its mind. I know a lady in our town who never planted a tulip in her life, but her vegitable garden has 100's of tulips every spring because the local wildlife "steals" them in great numbers from neighbouring gardens and plants them on her behalf!

As to when to move them, I really don't know what they are doing in your area right now... Are they still dorment? Starting to bud? Getting ready to flower? My guess is they are further along then ours, or you would not know where to dig!!

I am not an expert, but these are very hardy bulbs being that they have been surviving for years and years with no care, coming up year after year! (Even before they got to your moms house). I would chance taking them out, just use a spade a fair amount back from them, carefully break away the soil preferably with your fingers from the bulb, and make sure it does not dry out prior to replanting, (Perhaps store them in some damp dirt after being dug up and transported / before replanting).

They may not have flowered last year due to being too small, or planted at the wrong depth, or mowing/ being cut! Maybe they won't flower this year, but if moved to a better location, they should do fine for next year!!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 8:12AM
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They can be transplanted any time with out losing the bulb, but it may not bloom that year. Some farmers in the Alexander valley of Sonoma county have planted them along the highway out side of their fences. I enjoy a trip through the valley when they are in bloom. They get no care at all and bloom every year. Al

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 9:35AM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Thanks for the replies. I figured they would probably flower sometime, but didn't know if I needed to do something special for them. We'll never know why they were located in that spot, but they will remain at our place for the next 30 years, or so. Here's a picture of some that I relocated on Sunday....They appeared from the ground a couple of weeks ago...


    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 4:53PM
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