Transplanting Daffodils in Spring & Beyond: Dividing Tips

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Sunny yellow daffodils bring cheer as one of the first signs of spring. Transplanting daffodils in spring may be on your to-do list to get your flowerbeds ready for gardening season. Follow these tips on digging up and replanting daffodil bulbs with the least stress possible for the plants.

Also known more generally as Narcissus, the genus filled with many spring perennials, daffodils sport showy yellow blossoms with frills and a trumpet-shaped cup in the center. Daffodil is the common name for this pretty spring flower.

Transplanting Daffodils in Spring may be best after the bloom season, but it is possible.
Transplanting Daffodils in Spring may be best after the bloom season, but it is possible.

Did you know daffodils aren’t always yellow? Most envision a sea of yellow when thinking of this springtime blossom. Surprisingly, daffodils also come in white, salmon, orange, pink, or even light hints of green.

Discover how to transplant daffodils in spring – or any season – to spread the beauty throughout your garden.

What are the benefits of transplanting daffodils in spring?

Moving daffodil bulbs to other parts of your garden in spring helps you jump start your flowerbeds. You get to do any digging in the soil before your other plants get in the way. This reduces chances of damaging plants during their growing season. Transplanting daffodils in spring isn’t always the best option, as flowering may suffer, but these hardy plants generally recover quite well.

When is the best time to transplant daffodils?

Daffodils tend to be fairly easygoing so you can generally transplant them any time throughout the year. Ideally, the best time to transplant daffodils is after blooming as the leaves are turning brown, usually by early summer. If you buy potted daffodils from the store, you might be able to plant them out during the same blooming season – I’ve had luck with this, but your mileage may vary.

Can you transplant daffodils before they bloom?

Yes, it is possible to transplant daffodils before they bloom. Be aware that doing so may leave you with mixed results. Transplanting during blooming may hinder the flower and you may disrupt the blooming process. (Don’t worry, they will bloom again next year.) Daffodil buds may not open if transplanting before blooming, but the flowers should rebound for future years.

Double Daffodil Narcissus
Double Daffodil Narcissus in our 2021 garden

Can you dig up daffodils and replant them?

Yes, daffodils are fairly forgiving. Even if you disturb some daffodil bulbs while digging later in the year, they usually do just fine the next growing season. Dividing daffodils – the process of digging up and separating daffodil bulbs – is an optional task in the garden. You can divide daffodils to transplant the bulbs to other places in your garden or to share and spread the beauty with other gardeners.

When to Transplant Daffodils

Deciding when to transplant daffodils can be a personal decision. What works best for your garden plants this year?

Transplanting daffodils in spring makes it a bit easier to get the rest of your garden plans in motion. That way, you won’t need to disturb any other plants during their growing season.

Of course, if you have a perennial bed, you may not need to do much. Maybe you pop a few annuals here and there closer to the summer. Do whatever works best for you!

How to Transplant Daffodil Bulbs

Learning how to transplant daffodils is easy! Follow these steps to replant daffodils in your garden.

Digging up daffodils for dividing and transplanting
Digging up daffodils for dividing and transplantingwe actually replanted them after burying our sweet goldfish.
  1. Dig up daffodil bulbs from your garden. Use a shovel to dig around them and finally underneath, popping up a chunk of soil filled with daffodil bulbs.
  2. Separate individual daffodil bulbs from the chunk of soil, if desired. Use your hands to gently pull the bulbs apart from the clump of soil. You can also just transplant the whole chunk of soil and bulbs you’ve dug up if they aren’t overcrowded.
    • Tip: Do not separate tiny baby daffodil bulbs from the parent bulbs. Allow them to grow to full size before dividing.
  3. Dig a hole in the flowerbed where you wish to plant daffodils. Dig the hole 2-3 times deeper than the height of the bulbs.
  4. Place the bulbs in the hole with the pointed end facing up. Give the bulbs some room to multiply, leaving spacing in between of at least 3 inches apart.
  5. Leave the leaves, unless they are already dying back. If you’re transplanting daffodil bulbs directly from the garden, try to keep the foliage intact.
  6. Refill the soil to cover the hole. Use loose soil so the flowers can grow through easily.
    Fill in the hole when replanting daffodils
  7. Water the transplanted bulbs. Watch for new signs of growth over the coming days and weeks.

Tips on Transplanting Daffodils in Spring

Replanting daffodil bulbs is pretty easy as far as flower gardening goes. Try these tips on transplanting daffodils.

Oldest daughter enjoying the daffodils in our 2014 flowerbed - she wasn't even 2 yet, ages ago!
Oldest daughter enjoying the daffodils in our 2014 flowerbed – she wasn’t even 2 yet, ages ago!
  • Dividing daffodils isn’t always necessary. If you do wish to separate them, plan on transplanting and dividing daffodil bulbs every 3 to 5 years.
  • Use care when digging. Do your best to avoid cutting into the bulbs with the shovel. This can harm the bulb and may breed disease, fungus, or other issues.
  • Look for daffodils and other spring perennials on clearance after Easter. You can often find great deals of 50% off Easter flower perennials or better. Sometimes I’ve seen daffodils at Walmart for $1 each and other spring perennials at Produce Junction for great deals as well.

Do you enjoy the sunny greeting you get from daffodils in the garden each spring? They are such a cheerful flower. Try transplanting daffodils in spring, summer, and beyond to expand with more flowers throughout your gardens.

Youngest daughter at 2 and a half checking out the pretty white daffodils in the 2018 garden.
Youngest daughter at 2 and a half checking out the pretty white daffodils in our 2018 garden.

By the way, if you enjoy daffodils, you might also love other perennials like lilies. Check out my post on growing lilies from scales!

Feel free to ask any questions you may have or share even more daffodil replanting tips in our comments. We love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

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  1. I have purchased a bag of daffodil bulbs today. The package says it was packed for fall 2022. I have a 3’x3’x3′ planter (a cube) I live in zone 2 (Regina, SK). Can I plant the bulbs in spring and can I expect them to live over winter to grow again next year? Should I start the daffodil bulbs indoors first? So many questions.

    1. Hi Bev! I hope you are doing great, thanks for your questions. I am seeing that daffodils are winter hardy in zones 3-8 so I might recommend bringing your planter indoors to your garage or basement to overwinter your daffodils for added protection from the cold. If it is still very cold, I would start them indoors as well! All great questions – so sorry for the delay and I hope this helps! Best wishes!

  2. Hi Bev!
    I just dug up some daffodils to replant them. In doing so I came across tons of bulbs underneath so I pulled them all out because they apparently don’t bloom. Do you know why this is. And can I replant them? What’s the chances of them blooming next spring?
    From Massachusetts

    1. Hi Leigh! Nice hearing from you! I am definitely in favor of moving some of the bulbs to spread the beauty to other places in your garden and yard! If the bulbs are too small / immature, they may not support forming a flower yet. Also, if they are too crowded, they may not have enough space to thrive. I think you would do well to move some to a new location and see how it goes – I do this with my lilies often and end up with full lily plants putting out flowers in new spaces in short order! Best wishes in your garden!

  3. I just dug up my king daffodils because I needed the space in the garden. It is mid June 2023. I just realized that I should not have done this. Their tops were still green, but they bloomed back in April and I’ve been waiting for the green tops to turn brown but when they didn’t and I needed the space, I dug them up. do I have a chance of getting them to flower next Spring, if I plant them in the fall? Thanks for any advice.

    1. Hi Jane, thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I believe daffodils are pretty hardy – mine bloom pretty reliably even if I transplant them outside of the normally recommended months. I am queen of buying plants on clearance once they are already spent and no longer blooming and then find they do amazing the following year. Hope you are able to enjoy the same! I will say most times I do not store my bulbs in between, I just plant them anyway. Meanwhile many gardeners do wait and plant in the fall and have great results as well. I think either way can work. Best wishes in your garden!

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