Here’s How You Grow and Maintain Daffodils

Daffodils are a lovely addition to any spring garden. The easy-to-grow, low maintenance flowers will add a vigorous splash of color to your flowerbeds and will return year after year. Give their hardy bulbs a sunny or partly sunny home and they’ll soon fill your backyard with their sweet fragrance. The key is to plant them properly.

Daffodils are perennials that grow well in temperate regions. They do not thrive in hot, wet areas. The typical daffodil flower will often be an impressive yellow or white, with six petals and a lavish trumpet-shaped corona. The slender, leafless stems will carry between one and 20 flowers.  Sometimes their beautiful flowers are so heavy they need to be staked.

The typical daffodil flower will often be an impressive yellow or white, with six petals and a lavish trumpet-shaped central corona.
The typical daffodil flower will often be an impressive yellow or white, with six petals and a lavish trumpet-shaped central corona.

Growing Daffodils

When growing daffodils, it’s best to design your plantings in groups of ten or more. For instance, you can make a circle of about seven bulbs and put three in the middle. For aesthetic purposes, you don’t want to mix different cultivars within a group. You’ll get a fuller effect if you plant one kind together, says Heather Rhodes for Gardening Know How. You can plant them in bigger groups if you have ample space, of course.

Below are a few tips on growing daffodils.

Daffodils do not thrive in hot, wet areas.
Daffodils do not thrive in hot, wet areas.

Selecting a Site

Choose a site that offers full – or at least partial – sun. Daffodils will bloom best when grown in the sunshine of early spring. Most varieties tolerate a range of soil conditions. The flowers will grow healthy and flourish in moderately fertile, well-drained soil that is continually moist during the growing season. Remember, though, daffodils are likely to rot when the soil is too wet.

Daffodils will bloom best when grown in the sunshine of early spring.
Daffodils will bloom best when grown in the sunshine of early spring.

Planting the Bulbs

Select large, high-quality bulbs for your planting. The larger the bulb, the better. Plant them 1-½ to 5 times their own depth. You can sprinkle a little bulb fertilizer in the hole during planting. Daffodils will endure a bit of crowding, but they prefer to be spaced about 3 to 6 inches apart. Make sure there are at least 3 inches of soil covering the bulbs. Mulch the plot with pine bark or dry leaves once you are done planting.

Daffodils will endure a bit of crowding, but they prefer to be spaced about 3 to 6 inches apart.
Daffodils will endure a bit of crowding, but they prefer to be spaced about 3 to 6 inches apart.

Maintaining Daffodils

Water late-flowering daffodils when the weather is dry and hot. If you are aiming for a neater garden appearance, you can deadhead the plants as the flowers fade. But allow the leaves to remain for at least 6 weeks after daffodils bloom in the spring. Let the plants grow until they wilt and die off. Do not cut down the plants earlier. Your daffodils will require a little time to store energy in their bulbs for next year’s bloom.

To remove the dead plants, snip them at the base or twist the leaves while gently pulling. Once all the plants have died off, work some bone-meal to the soil for next year’s bloom.

Mulch for your flowerbed.
Mulch the area with pine bark or dry leaves once you are done planting.

Using Daffodils as Cut Flowers

When cut, you should keep daffodils alone in a vase. Their stems stash a fluid that wilts other flowers. If you must combine them with other blooms in a vase, soak them by themselves for as long as possible, then rinse. You should add them to the arrangement last.

Daffodils are deer-and-rodent- resistant. These animals do not like the taste of the bulbs in the Narcissus family. Daffodils are also poisonous to pets, so it’s best to make sure your animals stay clear of the plants.

Growing daffodils is easy, and they will come back to your garden year after year. Planting them together with perennials, annuals, and shrubs will make your garden livelier and more interesting.

Are you ready to grow daffodils in your garden?

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