Alan Titchmarsh shares bulb care tips to ‘guarantee daffodil flowers next year’

Alan Titchmarsh shares tips for caring for daffodils

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Daffodils can start to look quite weathered now as their flowers begin to wilt. What you’re often left with is green stems with ugly brown heads on them. Alan spoke about how you can make sure your daffodils return next year to their former glory in a video for Waitrose & Partners in 2014.

“The trouble with daffodils once they finish flowering is they’re not a thing of beauty,” he said.

“They do seem to last like this forever but it’s important that you make sure that next year’s flowers will be just as brilliantly produced as this year’s.”

Alan said there are several ways to make sure your daffodils remain healthy.

Firstly, the brown flowers need to be pulled off with your finger and thumb as this stops them from setting seed, saves their energy and channels that energy right down into the bulb.

He continued: “The other danger is that you think it’s really so tatty, ‘I’m going to have to take a pair of shears to it and cut it off at ground level’.

“Stay your hand. What it’s doing, both stalks and leaves with the help of sunlight, is producing food that’s sent back down into bulbs to fuel next year’s flowers.

“So leave it a good six weeks.

“At the end of six weeks you can scissor it off.

“If you’re even more patient you wait until it all dies down and then just pull it away.

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“Don’t be tempted to tie them into pigtails or put elastic bands around them – it doesn’t help them at all.”

To give your daffodils a further helping hand ready for next year, Alan recommended giving them a feed.

Alan chose to use blood, fish and bone as his food of choice because he is an organic gardener.

He said the food contains the main three plant nutrients: nitrogen, phosphates and potash.

The gardening expert continued: “A handful or two of this stuff, which smells wonderfully earthy, sprinkled around each clump of grass that surrounds it and allow the rains to wash it in.

“A couple of handfuls to a clump is not too generous and that way the combination of taking off those seed heads allowing the sun to photosynthesise through the leaves and stalks that feed the bulbs, and using fertiliser around them will guarantee you flowers next year.”

However, if you really don’t like the look of your brown daffodil heads, then you can put them in plant beds with other foliage.

This means when the daffodils flower, they will look vibrant and beautiful.

However, once they start to brown and look “embarrassing” the foliage from the other plants will mask them.

Alan added: “And any food you give the daffodils is also benefitting the border plants – nifty eh?”

Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh airs at 10am on ITV.

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