Yes, it’s about that time of year, folks. It’s when the majority of Daffodil flowers die off in the Northeast. I’m not sure of anywhere else, because I don’t live anywhere else. Here, I simply look out the front door.
So, what to do when Daffodil flowers die? Well, it’s time to prune (or deadhead) the flower. I am going to do my best here, because I just did a little research on the topic. There was something I needed to look up that I’ll reference later in this post.
Now, I am only talking about deadheading the dead Daffodil flower here, I am not talking about cutting down the entire plant. Here, I’ll show you some pics.
As you can see from the above photos, dead Daffodil flowers look pretty nasty. Even if all the advice on the internet told me not to prune these things, over here, they would get pruned. I am just not going to look at that kind of thing. As for the Daffodil plant itself, I would say they don’t look all that bad. It’s a nice looking, green bushy plant. I’ll keep them around until they start to droop.
That brings me to another topic. When do I prune down the entire Daffodil plant? Well, from what I have been reading, you are supposed to leave the entire Daffodil plant standing until it dies off naturally. It’s important for the plant leaves to soak up the sun’s rays to energize the bulbs for next year. That’s what I have been reading anyway. From personal experience, you could probably run these flowers over with the lawnmower every year for the next 20 and never get rid of them. I learned a long time ago that people just love to copy each other when giving advice on the internet without any personal experience.
So this is pretty interesting – As I was pruning off the dead heads of the Daffodils, I noticed a sack, seed pod or ovary right at the base of the dead flower. I split one of these seed pods open and noticed a bunch of tiny white seeds (as seen in the photo above). After I saw this, I said, “Hmmm. What the heck are these things?” Since I had no idea, I looked it up. Here is what I found.
Daffodils multiply in two ways: asexual cloning (bulb division) where exact copies of the flower will result, and sexually (from seed) where new, different flowers will result.
Seeds develop in the seed pod (ovary), the swelling just behind the flower petals. Most often, after bloom the seed pod swells but it is empty of seed. Occasionally, wind or insects can pollinate the flower during bloom by bringing new pollen from another flower. When this happens, the seed pod will contain one or a few seeds.
Daffodil hybridizers pollinate flowers by brushing pollen from one flower onto the stigma of another. Then the resulting seed pod can contain up to 25 seeds. Each of these will produce an entirely new plant – but the wait for a bloom for a plant grown from seed is about 5 years! Source
I though that was fascinating, so I decided to sprinkle those pruned Daffodil flower heads around where I wouldn’t mind seeing more Daffodils in the future. Hey, who knows if they will just rot or if they will actually turn into a plant someday.