Cutting Daffodil Foliage

May 24, 2008
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Categories: Bulb Information, Growing Daffodils

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Regarding cutting foliage. Jerry and I were in England looking at RHS? trial beds and they were doing an experiment in mowing daffodil foliage. Each plot was mowed at one week intervals. They found that 6 weeks after blooming was the best time to mow and the 7th week did not seem to make the outcome the next year any better. Bill has a point in that if you have virus or another spreadable disease you could spread it. However if you have disease you should dig out the bulbs and burn them as soon as you find the disease. Hope this helps.
Nancy

2 responses to “Cutting Daffodil Foliage”

  1. Kathy Welsh says:


    In a message dated 5/24/2008 1:36:09 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  title= writes:

    Jerry and I were in England looking at  RHS?
    trial beds and they were doing an experiment in mowing daffodil foliage.
    Each plot was mowed at one week intervals.  They found that 6 weeks after
    blooming was the best time to mow and the 7th week did not seem to make the
    outcome the next year any better. 

    On Sunday after the Convention in Richmond a bunch of us spent a lovely day at Brent and Becky’s.  Brent sited this study and said that the results have been revised.  I can’t remember if it is for the US or everywhere.  I can’t see why the location should make a difference.  Brent said that leaving the foliage for 8 weeks is better.
    Kathy 

  2. Donna Dietsch says:
    I think my real question is –  From what time do you count this 6 or 8 weeks?  It is usually said that it is from the time the last daffodil blooms.  The beginning of the bloom, when it opens, or from the time it dies?  Last week, the final jonquilla died off.  If I were to wait an additional 8 weeks from then, I would not take the leaves off until mid July.  At that time, the leaves on everything would have turned brown and dried up.  I doubt that I could even find the clumps.  Fortunately, I plant in pots.  I think the real test is if the leaves are on the ground and they are limp and flacid, you can be sure that it is time to take them off.  I usually use a method someone told me years ago – take the leaf in your hand and with a clean jerk pull it straight up.  If it comes off slightly below ground level, it can be safely removed.  The bulb makes a line at the bulb level which allows the leaf to separate from the bulb.  This is like a tree leaf does to separate the leaf from the branch in the fall.  I don’t know how to explain it botanically, but a ring of cells dies and then the leaf disengages itself from the plant.
    Weather and rainfall will play some part in when the leaves will die off, so these times are only a guideline in any case.
    Donna Dietsch