If there is a polar opposite to the utter wonder of a Daffodil it’s the drabness of the Daffodil on the way out. As the plant finishes its life span it lies down and fades out. The leaves soak up the last of the energy it needs from the sun and then from the leaves themselves and pulls it into the bulb to be used as fuel for next year.
One thing you should NOT do is to cut the leaves before they have naturally dried out. If you do you run the risk of having the plants come up “blind” next year. Blind is the term used for a plant that comes up without any flower heads. If you don’t want to wait that long you can let the plants stand and cut them after 6 weeks. You should have given the plant enough time to recharge. But letting it dry out naturally is always to be recommended.
This is a small group of daffies I have in my own garden. In time the leaves will flop wherever and look unsightly. Not only that they may hide any weeds that grow under them. So I do this…
This is the same daffies folded over, all nice and neat. The plant will still photosynthesize and be able to reclaim nutrients but the mess is avoided. Neat, eh?
All you need is some gardeners twisty ties. I keep a bunch of them around, mainly the ones I used last year. All you need to do is to sort out the individual plants and gently pull them straight up and gently fold them over. Don’t pull them too tight or they may break. Then tie them in place.
When they are dried off simply cut the now dried stems at the soil level they will all be in one hand and no need for scrabbling in the soil. If you want to pull up the bulbs then simply use the ties as a marker.
Keep the ties for next year and you can avoid any additional costs.