Sunday, March 8, 2015

Daffodils – Tips for Planting and Care

Photo source:  sgbrown aka Rockcreek Photography

Daffodils are one of the first flowers to bloom in spring. Many times, I have seen daffodils blooming when covered in snow, yet are a definite sign of spring. Here are a few tips for growing and caring for daffodils.

The botanical name for the daffodil is narcissus. They are many beautiful varieties of daffodils and all of them are hardy, easy to grow perennials. Daffodils are deer, rabbit and rodent resistant. Most animals do not like the taste of bulbs in the narcissus family. 

By Dvortygirl, via Wikimedia Commons 
 When you purchase your daffodils bulbs, be sure to choose bulbs that are not squishy or dried out when lightly squeeze them. They should feel firm and the larger the bulb, the better. 


Daffodils prefer well drained soil so the bulbs do not stay wet enough to rot underground.  You should plant your bulbs in fall and choose a sunny location. Some varieties will grow in partial shade, but usually do better in full sun. Plant the bulbs approximately 1-2 inches beneath the ground. In climates with severe winters, you may want to plant them as far down as 5 inches. You can even add a little bulb fertilizer in the hole as you are planting them. 

 Your daffodils will grow best when spaced 3 to 5 inches apart but will tolerate some crowding. If they become too crowded, their blooming will be hindered and you may want to dig them up and separate them a bit. Planting lots of bulbs in one area makes for a beautiful show of these cheerful flowers. 

Photo source:  sgbrown aka Rockcreek Photography

After you daffodils have bloomed, add a low nitrogen high potash fertilizer, especially if your flowers are not blooming as you expected. Once you daffodils have stopped blooming and die back, you may want to add some bone meal to the soil to next years flowers. 

You want to dead head your daffodils for appearance, but don’t cut the leaves. You need to let those turn brown before you removed them as they help the plant store energy for next years blooms. Once the leaves have turned brown, you can removed them by gently pulling and twisting them. If they don’t come off easily, leave them a little longer. 

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