ADS Executive Director

Bulb Flies

May 20, 2020

Categories: American Daffodil Society, Basal Rot, Bulb Fly, Diseases and Pests, General

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Good morning

I haven’t seen much talk this spring about Bulb Flies. I hope some of you have some advice for Keqin Xu. Keqin is not yet a member though I hope your hospitality will convince him otherwise 🙂


From: Keqin Xu Subject: Leave bulbs in the ground or dig them up?

Message Body:


Late last fall, when I was digging up my daffodil bulbs in the front yard for relocation, i noticed that quite a high percentage of the bulbs are rotting away probably because of insects. (I think my garden is very well drained and water does not stay after rain.)

This finding prompted me to consider if I should dig them up as soon as the leaves are died out. I believe at that time the bulbs are all in a very healthy condition. I can leave them in the garage and then plant them back in late fall or early winter when the insects are not active. That should protect the bulbs from the insects through their summer active season.

The down side of this plan might be sacrificing the young generation of daffodil bulbs, which is what I want to avoid since my daffodil patches are still not fully developed so I want them to produce more at lease for the next few years.

I am new in growing daffodils, please give me some advice.

Much appreciated!



Keqin Xu's border this spring

Keqin Xu’s border this spring

One response to “Bulb Flies”

  1. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio says:

    Hi Keqin,

    You have lovely daffodils growing in your border.  You said that when you dug bulbs for relocation, there were many bulbs that were rotting away.  You should examine the bulb more closely.  Cut it open to see if there’s a grub inside.  If this is the case, it means that daffodil flies laid some eggs in your daffodil border in the spring.  This means you need to be alert when the daffodils are blooming to see the flies.  They’re a little bigger than a house fly.  Go to and click on the tab that says “Diseases and Pests.”  That should tell you some control measures.

    If there’s no grub inside, then the problem may be basal rot.  There’s not an easy “fix” for that.  Again, go to for suggestions.