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I have quite a few daffodils planted around the perimeter of my garden, and although I see them spreading each year, I was wondering whether I could help thicken the daffodil border without buying new bulbs.

Should I dig up bulbs and split them? Or is that likely to damage them? Is there something else I should do to encourage spreading?

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Yes, you can. In fact, apparently after a few years they can start to crowd themselves and do better if you do. Google for split daffodils. (I don't like to just google stuff and regurgitate it as an answer when I don't have some experience with the topic.) – Ed Staub Nov 19 '11 at 1:21
If you plant daffodils shallowly, 6 inches, like the Dutch do, they will multiply quickly and will need to be dug up and separated every couple years. If you plant them deeply, 12-14 inches, as they must in Minnesota, you will have a daffodil planting that will go a decade or more without much maintenance. It is a trade off. – Eric Nitardy Nov 22 '11 at 5:00
@EricNitardy - if you move this to an answer I can accept it - useful. – Rory Alsop Nov 22 '11 at 8:29
The daffodils are fertilized? – Christoph Mühlmann Nov 30 '11 at 9:54
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I do this in early fall after the year's growth has died down, but before they start their winter growth. I dig up the entire clump, and do either of two options:

  1. Pull it into several evenly sized pieces(whatever size you need) and replant to the same depth, without removing the earth from the bulbs.
  2. Remove the earth from the bulbs, clean it and trim the tops and roots. Then sort them and replant the large bulbs along the border. The smaller bulbs can be discarded or planted as a filler between the big bulbs, to grow to blooming size in the row.
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