Saturday, September 18, 2010

Growing Daffodils From Bulbs

The daffodil is a Narcissus and is a hardy spring blooming herbaceous perennial in the Amaryllis family.  Daffodils comes in many varieties and ranges in colors from yellow, white, peach and light shades of pink and bi-colors too.  Some daffodils will bloom in early, middle and late spring.  There is also a daffodil that will bloom in the summer (Summer Cheer (Narcissus Erlecheer). If you love daffodils then plant the bulbs in the autumn and enjoy them the following spring.

A few years ago I did a naturalized planting of Trumpet daffodils mixed with purple and white crocus and grape hyacinths.  The trumpet is the most popular daffodils as the flower is giant sized and looks sensational when grown in masses.  Due to the size of the trumpets; stems are 15 to 18 inches, I tossed the bulbs on my side slope and planted them where they landed.  This naturalized garden is my favorite; it is just beautiful on a sunny spring day.

Another way to benefit from the beautiful spring bulb is to plant them in containers.   Plant yellow daffodils mixed with early blooming crocus and purple grape hyacinths or red tulips.  Set the containers at your home or business entrance.   The containers in spring are eye appealing and a cheerful way to greet guests. 

Learn more about growing daffodil bulbs in containers by viewing this YouTube video:

Instructions for Growing Daffodils

Buying Daffodil Bulbs: 
Buy Dutch daffodil bulbs at your local garden center or form an online nursery. If you shop online check their return policy. If you buy locally look at bulbs make sure that the bulbs are firm, no soft spots or mold.  Big bulbs are better than small bulbs.  Bulbs with divisions are best.

Where to Plant 
Narcissus Sempre Avanti
Choose a garden site that has full sun and well-drained soil. Daffodils planted in a naturalized garden such as a meadow or fields are beautiful, however you cannot mow this area until the end of May, so choose your growing site wisely.   Daffodils are also are eye appealing when planted along sidewalks, garden path, at your entrance, along patios and around trees.

How to Plant Daffodils
Clear your garden site of weeds, rocks and sod.   Loosen the soil to ten inches. For massive plantings use your tiller to break the ground.  Amend the soil with compost or other organic matter.  Dig a hole that is double the size of the bulb.  Set the pointy side up and flat root side of the daffodil bulb on the soil. Space the bulbs by planting six bulbs per square foot. Cover the bulbs with soil.  Water the daffodil bulbs after all have been planted.

Caring for Daffodils
Care for your daffodil bulbs by watering them throughout the autumn only if there is no rain.  Allow the ground to dry out before you water.  If your spring is dry water the daffodils and fertilize in early spring with formula suitable for bulbs.  Feed the daffodils before you see new growth.  Allow the foliage to die back naturally.  When the foliage withers and turn brown then you can cut back to the soil line.  Fertilize your daffodil bulb gardens every fall with bonemeal.


The daffodil is a Narcissus plant. This plant is a hardy spring blooming herbaceous perennial in the Amaryllis family.

Daffodils must die back naturally and cutting them back too soon will decrease their ability to bloom the following spring.

Allow adequate time for the daffodil roots to grow, Plant daffodil bulbs ten weeks before a hard frost.
The daffodil flower is long-lived 30-50 years.

If you reside in area where there is wildlife you will not need to worry about the daffodil bulbs as squirrel and deer do not eat them.  However they may dig them up so check your spring bulbs throughout the winter months.

The daffodil is easy to bulb to grow, a perfect flower for beginner gardeners.  Once the daffodil is established in your yard they will bloom every spring.

Daffodils need a hard freeze and winter weather for a minimum of 6 weeks to bloom in spring. 

Daffodils can be forced to grow indoors.  Learn more by viewing this YouTube video:


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