Daffodils are an incredibly hardy bunch - great for Naturalizing (particularly the scented Polyanthus varieties), and are a sure sign of Spring.
Daffodils join tulips, hyacinths and crocuses to make up the most important of the spring-flowering Bulbs.
Daffodil Bulbs are used in abundance in gardens. This has much to do with their winter hardiness, the ease with which they naturalize, and their many applications.
The various colours and flower types available also play a role in their popularity.
The large-flowered yellow daffodils in particular are the flowers that promise that the warm Spring Air is on the way.
Europe, particularly Spain and Portugal, is where daffodils are most commonly found growing in the wild. As early as the sixteenth century, people - especially the English and the Dutch - were becoming interested in the daffodil. Even today, these two countries are known the world over as being the leaders in daffodil cultivation. In addition to their garden uses, daffodils are also very important as a cut flower.
Daffodils are best planted from the beginning of April, through to mid May (however can happily be planted a couple of weeks either side of that)
- Daffodil’s, as with most Bulbs, require a good amount of Sun (for best results). The beauty of Daffodils however is they are significantly more tolerant of shade. They can therefore be planted in Full Sun or Part shade. Ensure that the soil is free draining, and if it’s not, build it up around 10cm with soil to create a raised bed.
- Plant your Daffodil Bulbs with the pointed tip facing up, around 10cm below the surface of the soil, with a nice mix of fertilizer… try our special Bulb Food mix for superior results!
- Once planted, give them a good dousing of water - a good deep watering.
- After a few days, your Daffodil Bulbs will begin working their magic - roots will start appearing, so it’s essential that if there hasn’t been any rain, that you continue to water every once in a while.
Planting in pots
- Daffodils are fantastic in pots - the best varieties being the miniature versions such as Tete a Tete Daffodil. Ensure your selected pot has drainage holes, and is at least 20cm deep.
- The soil should be a good quality potting mix. You can add in some well worked garden soils too… if you do, make sure you add in Bulb Food.
- Plant your Daffodil Bulbs 10cm deep
- Choose an area that has full Sun to part Shade. On your deck or patio works a treat.
- Give them a good deep watering. Keep in mind that potting mix tends to dry out quickly, so it’s a good idea to water them once in a while.
The beauty of growing them in pots, is that when they start dying down and looking a bit scruffy, they are easily moved out of sight.
You’ll start seeing leaves popping through around the middle of Winter. There’s not a lot you’ll need to do, other than sprinkling around a little Slug bait… slugs and snails tend to love Daffodils.
Later in the season after flowering, we also recommend sprinkling a little Naturally Neem Granules to keep those pesky Narcissus fly out. Narcissus fly tend to favour Daffodils and Hyacinths, and burrow down into the Bulb to lay their eggs - once hatched, they’ll eat their way out.
Daffodil Bulbs put a lot of their energy into producing a beautiful display of Flowers (which is great!), however after they have flowered, the energy then goes into producing seed, so it’s recommended to de-head the flowers before they go to seed.
This will let as much of that energy go back into producing a larger, more floriferous Bulb in the coming season.
As much as it’s tempting to remove straggly leaves after flowering, It’s important to let your Daffodil’s die down completely. This is vital for the Bulbs growth next year - if you remove the leaves before they have died down and dried off, you are removing the Nutrients available to the Bulb.
Daffodils can be left to Naturalize for years and years, however after 4 years of growth, you’ll start seeing a decline in flower numbers - this is caused by overcrowding. If you want to keep that stunning display going, it’s recommended to lift your Bulbs every 4 years.
Lifting and storing Daffodil Bulbs
The best time to be lifting Daffodil Bulbs is in December - once they leaves have died down.
Dig the Bulbs out and leave them to dry for a few weeks before separating the smaller offsets - keep your Bulbs somewhere cool and dry until it’s time to replant in Autumn.