transplanting daffodils

ford8nn(z4IL)May 5, 2007

I have a bunch of daffodils growing in the wrong place that I would like to transplant. Can I do it now right after after they have bloomed?

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tjsangel(z5 OH)


I would wait. Hold off until the foliage has died back, yellowed and on the ground. This is the best time to dig up and replant. Good luck,


    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 8:41PM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

It is best to move daffs when they are dormant; not during high growing season. Wait until their foliage is brown, and then dig them up to relocate them. End of summer and early autumn are the best times.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 8:45PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I was just going to post asking the same question. I can see waiting until the foliage is just about finished but for me that is early to mid summer. If I wait until the end of the summer or the fall, then I forget where they are and digging them up would be much more difficult. So I am thinking before all the foliage just disappears and I can't locate them.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 5:54PM
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I want to transplant some daffodils, too. Can I do this before they bloom? They usually start blooming in March or April. Is it possible to move them as soon as I see them coming up?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 7:11PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Theoretically, daffodils can be moved "in the green", as long as you take them out of the ground with a large soil mound around the roots, to avoid disturbing the roots. But, in practice, it's very tricky, and can result in killing the blooms for next year, or even the bulb itself, if you mistakenly damage the bulb. Plus, if you're moving them, you very well may want to divide them too, and that cannot be done in the green. Better to wait. You can move them after the foliage is yellow, but before it disappears, thus making it easier to find the bulbs, or, you can mark the spot of the bulbs now, and dig and transplant them in the early fall. I like early fall better because that's when you normally plant bulbs, which says to me that you are disturbing their growth cycle the least. And, there's so much to do in the spring, why not wait till fall? Good luck to you both.

P.S. Be sure to mark the spots with something reasonably permanent: plastic knives are good. So are plastic golf tees. You can also get a cheap vinyl window blind and cut the slats into markers with scissors. If you have many kinds of daffodils, you can indicate the variety, color, or whatever info will help you make a nice arrangement of them later, on your markers. You will NOT remember, and once the blooms are gone, virtually all daffodil foliage looks alike. It takes a little time, but hey! Any excuse to get outside for some exercise and fresh air! :)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 11:01PM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

If you are willing to sacrifice a year or two of blooms, go ahead. They won't die, they'll just take awhile to recover .

Personally, I'd wait until the foliage is mostly brown, so I can find them. Even with some kind of marker, I'd probably stab a bulb or two if I waited until late summer.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 10:07AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Daffodils are tough as weeds here. They are taking over parts of my garden. I have dug them by accident during the summer, thrown them into a shady area meaning to pick them up later and replant them. About this time of year I notice Daffodils blooming where they were never before and looking closer I find the bulbs I forgot to replant, still laying on top of the ground, are happily blooming. Al

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 10:16AM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

I am sure that is an exception rather than a rule, Al. You are, after all, tearing them away from their nutrition source. I would not recommend this as a practice. Best to wait during the dormant season.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 12:03PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I have to agree. Not all gardeners are as hap-hazard or forgetful as I am. My point was that daffodils are amazingly forgiving of gardeners like me. Al

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:30AM
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I agree with calistoga, you guys have a strange idea saying that daffodils will get hurt by moving them in early Spring. I always move them (and divide them) in bloom, so that I know what they are. No need for a rootball, either, as long as you don't break off all the the roots (I use a 4 blade spading fork to lift the clump). Just move them to a good spot before they get dry, and water them in, and they'll grow right along.

At least, that's been my experience.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 9:10PM
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patwood(6a NJ)

Don't transplant daffs too late in the fall, as they start to send out roots once the ground temps start to cool off. Late spring/summer when the leaves turn yellow is best. The roots die off about 2-3 weeks after the leaves have died back.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 3:51PM
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i am very nervous now. i didnt think that it would hurt to transplant some bulbs right now and i just transplanted several bags of "Butter and Eggs" daffs, byzantine glads, and snowflakes. i hope they are going to be alright. some i did move with the soil, but others i removed the bulbs from the soil they were in before planting. i did this to get rid of the weeds, etc that were in the clumps of soil. i acquired these bulbs from old homesites (with permission :)) and a neighbors pasture and didnt want to plant with the weeds, grass and get them in my beds. of course, i tried to be gentle with the bulbs and they seemed to have good root systems.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 11:06PM
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I agree with Al - daffs and most other spring bulbs are extremely tolerant of disturbance as long as you get a good ball of soil along with the roots. For some reason, many gardeners seem to think most plants are extremely delicate when in fact the opposite is quite true. I have moved all manner of bulbs "in the green" or when in bloom without any problems. Some bulbs - snowdrops come to mind - are best established when grown and planted in this manner. And professional gardeners/landscapers routinely plant bulbs now from potted starts into the landscape without problems. Do it when the temperatures are mild (early morning) and try to disrupt the root system as little as possible. They'll be fine.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 10:39AM
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I'm a newbie at bulbs and I mangled some daffs trying to transplant them. They're coming up now. I doubt that they'll bloom, but they're tough!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 8:56AM
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ofionnachta(z6 WNJ)

Mangled bulbs will likely recover & bloom next year.

When I was in 8th grade a couple of friends & I rescued loads of daffodils & even shrubs from an old estate planting (took an entire block) that was going to be bulldozed & subdivided. We got tons of heirloom bulbs & such & it was May/June -- they had just been flowering & some of them still were.

We had no choice about the timing & this was 14 year olds doing the digging -- I am happy to report that just about everything survived & some of those daffs are still coming up in my sister's garden!

We divided up the clumps, too -- to share them. Some bulbs got sliced, but most did not.

I would mark a clump that I was planning to move later -- maybe either with a code (and notes in a book in the house) such as A, B, etc. That was George Washington's system btw. Or else the name of the cultivar if I knew it, or "yellow & orange daffodil" if not. Then when it died back I could use the marker to find the clump!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 3:31PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I transplant, plant and divide bulbs when they are blooming so I can see "who" they are. I have not had a problem doing so.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 12:54PM
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Nell Jean

In the interest of garden experimentation, I transplanted some daffodils today 'in the green' primarily because that's all they've been for the past few years, 'in the green' -- no blooms. I moved only a few, more 'sperimenting later when they're yellow, and again in the fall.

One year, I transplanted some 'Minnow' daffodils that would not bloom and they bloomed just after I moved them, shocked I guess. They have returned to not blooming; maybe they want to go on the road again. They probably would benefit from fertlizing rather than all that transplanting, and some pruning of the limbs overhead. They are not crowded.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 6:01PM
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Well, I guess I will be able to give you an answer soon. Due to construction, a porch is going over a flower bed taht contains many daffodils. I have no choice but to move them or lose them. So here goes nothing.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 6:04PM
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Remember to mark where they are so you can find them in the fall.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 6:50PM
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Last Sept we moved into our new house and have an amazing yard. We knew there were tons of daffodilis in the yard. I thought I had removed them all from the location that I choose for my Rose Garden. I brought over several roses and they are now being taken over by the daffodils what should I do. ! I am worried about my roses?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:38AM
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I have read many articles on transplanting daffodils, but I think I need Daffodils for Dummies. I live in the house where I grew up. We have ample land. Through the years, landscaping has been done and unfortunately dirt has been removed that contained the daffodils that once lined a long area of our property. Fortunately, the daffodils have bloomed but in areas that are scattered throughout the property. I once tried to transplant them, but had no success. Please tell me what I can successly do to transplant them so they can decorate my property again. I did dig them in the fall and transplanted them the first time, but no success. Haphazardly, they were removed and flourished, but when I tried to transplant them, nothing.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 11:12AM
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Yesterday I moved some daffodils that were in bloom. I took a big clump of dirt and then watered very well. Cool weather yesterday and today but lots of wind this morning. After the wind most of the daffodils are on the ground. Now what should I expect to happen... They will stand back up or should I cut the flowers and bring inside and hope for the best next year. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 5:39PM
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woodyswife(z5 OH)

Mary, I would probably cut the flowers and enjoy them inside, odds are they probably won't stand up again--personally, I always like to cut some and bring springtime inside anyway.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 6:18AM
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I am bulb ignorant. My daffs had bloomed and gone...still green though. I was and wanted to just get my lot and a half mowed! I thought...just mow over them. They are done?! So I did. Next year...instead of my usual clump? My daff section? lol I had daffs EVERYWHERE!! So, they apparently liked wherever they laid. With this being said, I believe, if they want to survive they will. Some how some way! I didnt replant them...they just were cut off at base and resumed! I know its against all "guru" of bulbs...but they did!

Best of luck to ya!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 1:05AM
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I bought some daffs at walmart in small black pots.the stalks r all brown now. can I plant and if so,do I fertilize at planting? thanks,joyce

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 7:24PM
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I had to dig up daffodils today. They were overgrown and did not flower and were still in the green. How can I best preserve them until fall? Do I dry them with the greens still on in a cool place until greens fade?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 7:08PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Daffodils are forgiving. I always think the best time to dig them up and transplant them is whenever you have the time. That's what I did this spring.

I also planted some in pots and plan to give them away this fall.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:22PM
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marilyn: I dug up my daffs because I was replanting the bed with something else and I put them in long planters and covered them with dirt. I left the foliage on them. I placed the planters in an out of the way spot outside in the shade. I believe they will be fine there until I replant them in the fall.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:24AM
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