When can i plant daffodils

How to plant daffodil bulbs: when, where and how to plant daffodils

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

Learning how to plant daffodil bulbs and grow daffodils is a must for any gardener who wants to see their backyard spring back into life when winter is nearing an end. The sight of masses of the cheery flowers is sure to lift your spirits. 

Among the most recognisable perennial bulbs, daffodils is the common name of the backyard forms of the genus narcissus, which has more than 50 species and 25,000 varieties.  

There are thousands of cultivars and great diversity in the shapes and colors of daffodils, from the common yellows, to pastel pinks and white.

There are many different forms of daffodil flowers, too, such as trumpet, large-cupped, single, double or split-corona – so why not try growing different varieties in separate areas of your yard as one of your flower bed ideas?

How to grow daffodils in your backyard

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

By carefully choosing and learning how to grow daffodils of different varieties, you can have early to late flowering blooms and enjoy the show from February through to May.  

The dwarf varieties look fabulous lining paths or in containers, while at the other end of the scale are giant daffodils with their golden nodding blooms that can create a big impact in beds and borders. 

‘When mixing daffodils, check the flowering heights to avoid the taller cultivars swamping dwarf cultivars,' suggests Becky Mealey, RHS horticultural advisor.

As a bulbous perennial, daffodils will keep coming back year after year and will slowly spread, so choose an area to plant them where you want them to naturalize. Planting snowdrops and daffodils with other spring bulbs in the same area can produce wonderful results.

What is the best month to plant daffodil bulbs?

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

You should plant daffodil bulbs from early fall. Like all flowering bulbs, if you are growing daffodils they need a cold period to develop their roots and get ready for spring. 

'Plant the bulbs when grounds have cooled, in some climates September and for warmer climates in November,' advise the experts at the The American Daffodil Society .

For a succession of varieties that flower at different times, you could plant a series of bulbs from late August to early November.  

‘September to October is the best time for planting narcissi, while the soil still has a bit of summer warmth. The flowering times are usually indicated on the packet or plant profiles,’ recommends Becky Mealey. 

If you can't wait until spring is nearing to enjoy these cheery flowers, then you could always learn how to force bulbs to enjoy them in the dead of winter, too.

Are daffodils easy to grow?

Daffodils are easy and fuss-free to grow. Narcissi can be grown in beds and borders, naturalized in grass, planted in pots or planters, and will keep coming back year after year with little care and attention needed.

Where to plant daffodil bulbs

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

Scattering bulbs and planting where they fall will give you a natural look in lawns, meadows, on banks or in beds. Bold drifts in beds and borders give impact, and clumps under trees with a cascade of blossom confetti look charming. They are also wonderful for filling gaps between shrubs and plants in herbaceous beds. This is definitely not a less is more flower. 

One of the most important points to remember where learning how to to grow daffodils is to choose a well-drained soil. 'Drainage is key,' agree the American Daffodil Society experts.

All varieties of narcissus prefer moderately fertile, well-drained slightly acidic soil, with most preferring sunny spots and some light shade. 

They need plenty of sunlight to grow, are tough, but hate getting their feet wet so don’t let them bathe in water in soggy soils as they will rot. One way to avoid this is by planting them on a bed of grit, 'as this prevents them sitting in water,' advises Monty Don in a video for Gardeners' World .

How to plant daffodil bulbs

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

A very important point to be aware of when learning how to plant daffodils is that the sap from the plants can irritate your skin, so wear gloves when planting the bulbs.  

Always choose firm, large daffodil bulbs and plant them deep enough that they are not affected by temperature variations. 

The rule is generally to dig your holes at least three times as deep as the bulb is high, using a hand trowel or bulb planter. 'Plant bulbs deeper in sandy soil than in clay,' advise the American Daffodil Society experts.

'When growing daffodils, you need to plant the bulbs deep because they will develop better, and also then there is less likelihood of you digging them up,' explains Monty Don.

Plant the bulbs deeper in lawns, at about 6 inches (15cm).

Place the bulb at the bottom of the hole with its pointy end up, spaced about 4-5 inches (10 to 12 cm) apart so they don’t compete for nutrients in the soil. 

Most bulbs will produce one to three flowers the first spring, however, 'if they do not bloom in one season, it might be best to move them to a new location,' says the American Daffodil Society.

How to grow daffodils from seed

Daffodils spread by producing seed and pollen, which is dispersed giving rise to new flowers and also by the bulb dividing and cloning itself after about three to five years.

If you want to try growing from seed, then rather than deadheading flowers, leave the seeds to ripen, sow them and then you will need to wait a few years before they flower.

Growing daffodils in containers

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

Growing daffodils as one of your container gardening ideas is straightforward, and they can be layered for a succession of blooms, or lasagne-planted with other spring bulbs that will flower at different times. 

To grow daffodils in pots:

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

‘My top tip for planting daffodil bulbs in a pot is to place the bulbs out like the face of a clock, starting with 12, 6, 3 and 9 to get your display all evenly spaced and looking good on all sides,’ says Becky Mealey. 

Layering the same or different varieties, or with other bulbs, two or even three layers, will prolong the display.

When the flowers fade on daffodils in containers, snip them off but let the foliage die down. They will continue to flower for about three years, but it's a good idea to remove the bulbs from the pot and replant them in the ground to make a fresh display for each spring.

How to care for daffodils

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

Easy to care for, daffodils will last for years and years. Preserve the strength of the bulb by deadheading spent blooms, nipping off at the neck behind the seedpod, and allowing the foliage to die down naturally. 

'Daffodils need lots of water,' says the American Daffodil Society experts, so keep them moist during the growing season and feed after flowering with a low nitrogen fertiliser for a good show next year. 

If you have mastered the art of how to divide plants, you can lift and divide overcrowded clumps in late June or July, or in fall and replant straight away. 

If you are cutting blooms for vase displays, be aware that the sap is toxic and can make other flowers wilt, so display them separately to other blooms, or put them in water on their own for 24 hours, and then mix with other flowers in a vase.

Good companion plants for daffodils

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

Companion planting daffodils can create a wonderful display. Daffodils combine with the first of the tulips, contrast dramatically with violet muscari, bright blue scilla or iridescent hyacinths, and look attractive popping up through spring bedding, such as polyanthus, bellis and erysimum. 

Planting bulbs under deciduous trees is a natural choice. From glorious prunus and malus blossom to the range of magnolias, you are assured of a reliable and colorful display. 

Do daffodils grow back year after year?

Daffodils should grow back year after year. They will naturalize and the display will get better from one year to the next, making them great value bulbs to buy. 

'Daffodil bulbs should continue flowering year after year, so it's worth taking care when planting them,' explains Monty Don.

How to store daffodil bulbs

Daffodil bulbs can be stored anywhere cook, dry and out of direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations. This might be in a cellar, garage or even in a drawer in a cool room indoors.

Leigh Clapp is a professional photographer with over 25 years experience, primarily as a garden specialist photojournalist but also with food and travel.  She delights in exploring gardens, discovering the tiny elements to their overall essence and meeting lots of enthusiastic gardeners along the way. Leigh’s work appears in magazines, newspapers and books, both in the UK and abroad, including Period Living, Country Life, and Gardens Illustrated; as well as being sole photographer for a number of books, including Garden Details, Feng Shui in the Garden, Vertical Gardens and From the Garden – fresh seasonal cooking.

When to Plant Daffodil Bulbs?

Cheerful yellow daffodil blooms mean that spring is just around the corner: here’s a guide on when to plant daffodil bulbs. Read all about the best time to plant daffodil bulbs.

When to Plant Daffodil Bulbs for a Gorgeous Spring Garden?

Daffodils are one of the easiest flower bulbs to grow and will thrive in most regions of North America. Plant your daffodil bulbs when the soil is starting to cool down in the fall; they will need two to four weeks to settle in before the soil freezes. Our daffodil bulbs are shipped from September onwards; the date you plant them will depend on where you live, but as a general rule, you can plant daffodil bulbs from September to December. The cooler the zone, the earlier you should plant them and they will reward you with weeks of color, returning year after year.

When Is the Best Time to Plant Daffodil Bulbs in Your USDA Zone?

Most daffodil varieties need several weeks of cold temperatures to bloom well in spring and the best time to plant them will vary according to your USDA (climate hardiness) zone. Daffodils and narcissi perform best in the cooler zones (7 and lower) although we offer many cultivars that will grow in warmer areas (zones 8 and higher). Even if you live in the hottest and wettest areas of North America, such as the south of Florida, you can still enjoy daffodils by growing cultivars such as the highly scented Paperwhite narcissi indoors.

Let Us Help You to Decide When Is the Best Time to Plant Daffodil Bulbs

Our top quality daffodils and other flower bulbs are expertly grown in the Netherlands before being shipped ready for planting from September through December. If you’re still not sure when to plant daffodil bulbs where you live, just check the box “Let DutchGrown decide” when filling your shopping cart and we will ensure that your top quality daffodil bulbs are shipped ready for planting at the optimum time.

Planning ahead is the key to a dazzling spring garden. If you’ve set your heart on one of our Elite daffodil varieties, ensure availability by ordering with our Early Bird discount, as these sought-after blooms sell out fast.

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When and how to plant daffodils?

Narcissuses are the most unpretentious and most elegant spring bulbous flowers that delight us not only with the purity and tenderness of the snow-white-golden palette of colors, but also with a surprisingly subtle heady aroma, somewhat reminiscent of the smell of southern magnolias.

In addition, they are also the most unpretentious primroses, which perfectly endure the harsh winters of the northern climate (frost resistance of many varieties reaches -43 degrees).

Domestic and foreign breeders managed to create many varieties and types of this amazingly beautiful flower. nine0003

About this, as well as about various types of narcissus, about caring for them, about the best varieties of this wonderful primrose, read our published articles:

“When to plant bulbous flowers”;

"The best varieties of daffodils for autumn planting."

In this article we will talk about how to properly plant daffodils in your flower garden.


Before telling about when and how to plant daffodils correctly, let us remind you of some biological features of this culture. nine0003

Daffodils belong to the Amaryllis family, which includes about 85 different species of this flower. The narcissus poetic is considered to be the progenitor of all these species.

Narcissus bulb is surrounded by numerous storage scales, which gradually die off and are replaced by new ones.

The aerial part consists of a leafless round or ribbed stem up to 75 cm high, on which, depending on the variety, one or more flowers are formed.

Flowers amaze with a variety of elegant shapes and colors. They can be snow-white with golden, yellow or bright orange single or double perianth. nine0003

Daffodils bloom in mid-April - early May (depending on the type and variety). The most common species: tubular, large-crowned, small-crowned, terry, triandrus, cyclamen-like, jonquillium, tacetaceous, poetic, wild-growing types and forms, split-crown .

According to the timing of flowering, all varieties can be divided into early, medium and late flowering. Flowering of each group of varieties lasts more than two weeks.

By planting all three groups in one flower bed, you can create a long-blooming spring flower garden of daffodils alone, which will delight you with its snow-white splendor and delicate aromas for more than a month. nine0003

By the way, each type of daffodil has its own surprisingly pleasant smell, so they are definitely used to create a fragrance garden, which is so popular in European countries today.

Narcissus bulbs grow quickly, forming numerous babies, so they must be planted at least once every five years. Otherwise, the flowers will begin to shrink and lose their varietal color. In addition, pathogens accumulate in the soil around them, which can destroy the entire flower garden. nine0003


Planting dates . As a rule, it is customary to plant daffodil bulbs in autumn - from September 18 to October 10 (depending on the region). Remember that they need at least four weeks for adaptation and reliable rooting before the onset of stable frosts.

Soil temperature during planting should not exceed +11 degrees .

If you plant your daffodil bulbs too early, they will hatch and grow in warm autumn conditions. This will inevitably lead to their death in the winter. nine0003

But it is also impossible to be late with planting, since the plants will not have time to take root normally in a new place and will also die.

Landing area . Since daffodils are among the first to bloom in the garden, create all the conditions for them for bright lush flowering by choosing the sunniest open place under the flower bed.

The height of the flower bed should be at least 50 cm so that the bulbs do not flood with melt water and spring rains.

Soils . Daffodils love fertile, light, loose, organic-rich soil with a neutral environment (pH 7.0). nine0003

On acidic, poor sandy and heavy clay soils, these beautiful flowers will not grow.

Neutralize acidic soil by adding 2 kg of dolomite flour per 1 square meter for digging. m flower garden.

When preparing a flower bed, add for digging (per 1 sq. m.): two buckets of rotted manure (or compost), two buckets of sand, a bucket of leafy soil, 2 tbsp. spoons of double superphosphate, 1.5 tbsp. spoons of potassium sulfate and half a bucket of wood ash.

Fit . You can plant daffodils only in dry weather. nine0009 It is strictly forbidden to water the flower bed before and after planting!

Wet soil will definitely cause the bulbs to wake up.

For planting, dig holes 12 to 18 cm apart. The depth of the holes is determined by the size of the bulb and is three times its height.

At the bottom of each hole, make a 2 cm layer of coarse sand to drain.

Plant the bulbs vertically, bottom down, lightly pressing them into the sand. After planting, fill the holes with fertile soil and mulch the entire flower bed with straw with a layer of 6 - 7 cm.

When placing various varieties and types of daffodils in the flower bed, consider how they will combine in shape and palette during spring flowering.

Also try to plant the early, middle and late varieties evenly in the flower bed so that in the spring there are no bare spots on the bed where the already flowering plants are located.

Winter shelter . Daffodils planted in autumn definitely require winter shelter. After the air temperature steadily drops to -6 ... -8 degrees, cover the entire flower bed with dry leaves from hardwood trees with a layer of 45 - 50 cm.

Lay two layers of spruce branches on top.

Such a hiding place for daffodils will be quite enough.

You don't have to be afraid of rodents in winter. They won't harm your plantings because they can't stand the smell of daffodil bulbs.

That's why experts recommend planting daffodils around the edges of tulips and other bulbous flowers that can injure mice and voles.

For the same reason, daffodils can be planted in stone circles near the trunks, which very often damage these small rodents. nine0003

Daffodils. Planting and care

Photo by the author.

1. Planting date for daffodils
2. Place for planting
3. Soil for daffodils
4. How to choose bulbs?
5. How should bulbs be stored?
6. Proper planting of daffodils
7. How to feed daffodils?
8. Care after flowering
9. Diseases and pests
10. Dividing and transplanting daffodils

The end of the summer season is still far away, but already I want to think about the future and plan plantings for spring. Bright primroses - spring-flowering bulbous plants open the long-awaited holiday of flowering in the garden after a long dullness and cold weather. This explains their enduring popularity. Graceful galanthus, lovely crocuses, charming scillas, luxurious hyacinths, magnificent tulips... There are many “stars of the first magnitude” among the bulbs, and I would like to tell you about my favorite plant - narcissus. nine0003

The chosen topic is very broad, so in the already familiar “question-answer” format I will only talk about the agricultural practices of narcissus in the open field. I hope that the colorful photos of my favorites will make up for the lack of lyrics in the text and create a special, spring mood.

When can daffodils be planted outdoors?

Daffodils, like most spring-flowering bulbs, require a cool start and a two-month stratification period to establish successfully and bloom fully. Bulbs of narcissus, which are in the dormant stage, after planting, quickly build up the root system at a soil temperature of +6 +8 o C. The formation of flower buds in daffodil bulbs occurs within 50–80 days only at a temperature of +3 +5 o C, so these frost-resistant plants are planted before winter.

When determining the timing of planting, it should be taken into account that for rooting and successful wintering, daffodils need about four to five weeks. The optimal time for planting daffodils in open ground in the middle zone is the end of the first decade of September - the beginning of October. In regions north of the Moscow region, it is better to start planting at the end of August so that the bulbs have time to take root before the soil freezes. nine0003

If for some reason the time favorable for the rooting of daffodils is missed, then this is not a reason to abandon your plans. It is quite acceptable to plant daffodils during October, and at a later date, shelter will be required, prolonging the rooting period. In this case, the best option would be to install an air-dry frame shelter that protects the plantings from excessive moisture and retains the heat of the soil. The correct shelter for daffodils, as well as for any bulbous ones, is a structure such as a low (up to 30 cm) “table” covered with a wide “tablecloth” made of dense (45–60 g per sq.m) synthetic material, such as lutrasil (spunbond). , agrosufa, etc.). Usually I use inverted plastic mesh boxes as a frame, and on top I fix a sheet of any waterproof material (iron, foam plastic, siding, linoleum). The ideal shelter should be two to three times wider than the planting area, and the covering material on the sides of the structure should not prevent excess moisture from escaping. nine0003

Stratified daffodil bulbs can theoretically be planted in early spring. I have practiced this method many times. In this case, the purchased planting material should be kept for two months in a frost-free room where the temperature does not rise above +5 o C (basement, cellar, balcony or refrigerator). You can start landing at the beginning of April. With this unconventional method, daffodils will bloom a month later, that is, in June. Of course, a September planting is preferable, but the “anomalous” simultaneous flowering of peonies, irises and daffodils makes an unforgettable impression! nine0003

Where is the best place to place daffodils?

Daffodils are light-requiring, so they are best planted in open sunny areas. It is quite possible to place daffodils under tree crowns in light partial shade or in an area where they will be provided with five to seven hours of direct light. In addition, when choosing a place for planting, it must be borne in mind that daffodils cannot tolerate excessive and prolonged moisture. Consequently, low-lying areas or places where melt water is retained are of little use for the placement of these bulbs. As for groundwater, it is considered safe if the depth of their occurrence is 40–50 centimeters. nine0003

Narcissuses are unpretentious and hardy, with competent agricultural technology they very rarely suffer from diseases. However, when choosing a planting site, you should avoid areas where spring-flowering bulbs, lilies, phloxes or asters have previously grown. Of course, it is undesirable to plant daffodils after (or next to) onions and garlic. In addition, I do not recommend placing daffodils in the immediate vicinity of compost heaps or “warm” beds where soil pests or mice can winter.

The April greenery of daffodils pleases with its brightness, the May flowering fills the garden with sunny colors, but, unfortunately, by June, the plantings begin to lose their attractiveness, and this must be taken into account when placing. The natural summer yellowing and dying off of the foliage can either be decorated with neighboring plants, or any accents that distract attention can be placed nearby. It is very popular to combine plantings of daffodils with peonies, which are a good addition during May flowering, and serve as a masking object in summer. On my site, most of the daffodils are “scattered” in curtains among coniferous and low ornamental shrubs. With this placement, the composition is harmonious, and a short period of unattractiveness goes unnoticed. nine0003

What kind of soil is suitable for planting daffodils?

Narcissus is a picky plant and not particularly demanding on soil conditions. The main thing is that the soil is breathable, moisture-intensive and fertile. Waterlogged or saline soils, of course, are unsuitable for planting daffodils. These bulbs develop well on slightly acidic, neutral or slightly alkaline soils (4.9–6.5 pH). Poor or depleted soils need to be improved a year before planting by adding organic matter, such as compost, humus or biohumus (but not manure). An option for restoring soil fertility can also be the sowing of green manure (rye, oats) with subsequent incorporation into the soil in October. If the soil is sandy, it is recommended to add clay before planting daffodils, and on heavy soils - sand or any other loosening materials (expanded clay, perlite, vermiculite, peat). On acidic soils, it is necessary to add lime or dolomite flour a year before planting in September, observing the norms indicated on the package. nine0003

I have almost chernozem on my plot, but without watering the soil dries out quite quickly, and with prolonged moisture it becomes compacted. Therefore, to improve the structure of the soil and increase its moisture capacity, I use sand and neutralized peat (about 6–8 liters per sq.m.). In general, I start preparing the site for planting daffodils with deep digging in the middle of summer, which I combine with the incorporation of loosening materials and superphosphate (2 tablespoons per sq.m). I usually apply organic fertilizers and ash directly at planting, and there has not yet been a need to use deoxidizing materials, since the soil on the site is slightly alkaline. nine0003

When and where is the best time to buy daffodil bulbs, and what to look for when choosing?

Spring-flowering bulbs are available for sale in late August - early September, and this is the best time to purchase them. The fact is that bulbs dug up three months after flowering are considered the best. And since 99% of the bulbous planting material offered in Russia was produced in Holland, where spring comes a month earlier, then from August you can buy the “correct” bulbs of good quality. By the way, in order to dispel fears about the viability of imported planting material once and for all, let me remind you of the following. Narcissus is a perennial, highly winter-hardy plant and, when properly planted, endures our winters without problems. The place of production does not matter, the plants of the zoned varieties are adapted to the conditions of the middle zone of Russia. In addition, when buying Dutch bulbs, the risk of regrading is very low, and the bulbs themselves are of excellent quality. It is a pity that the assortment of network horticultural hypermarkets is distinguished by unfortunate constancy, rarely updated, even the photographs on the packages have not changed in twenty years. Of course, I am interested in new items, so I carefully follow the offers of online stores with a time-tested reputation. nine0003

When choosing planting material for daffodils, carefully inspect the bulbs and make sure that their actual number corresponds to that stated on the package. Bulbs of proper quality should not have major mechanical damage, mold foci or dark brown spots. The integumentary scales should be dry, uniform in color, and the bulbs themselves should be dense. You should inspect and gently feel the bottom of the bulbs, because it is in this place that rot most often appears. When choosing, many flower growers prefer large bulbs, believing that large bulbs will give out a large flower. I try to choose a package where there are the most daffodils with children, which can be separated before planting and increase the number of copies. Also, when buying, do not forget that the size of the bulbs, as a rule, depends on the type and even variety of daffodils. For example, in undersized cyclamen or triandrus daffodils, the bulbs are smaller than in large-flowered terry or large-crowned, although there are exceptions. nine0003

How to store daffodil bulbs before planting?

After purchase, I try to immediately treat any bulbs in a fungicide solution containing thiram (Healthy Earth or Maxim). I first remove dry roots and exfoliated integumentary scales, and if possible, I separate the nests of the bulbs and carefully break off the babies. The soaking procedure in a working solution prepared according to the instructions takes only half an hour, subsequent drying in a sieve or on a newspaper takes about a day. These small efforts will pay off with confidence in the safety of the planting material, in addition, no more treatments will be required before planting. nine0003

Store prepared bulbs in boxes or large paper bags in a cool, dry place (+15 +17 o C) before planting. Daffodils should not be stored in plastic bags as they can become moldy or rot. If I don't want to break the original packaging, I process the bulbs without removing them from the perforated bag and store them in a way that allows the bulbs to ventilate.

There are recommendations one week before planting to place narcissus bulbs in a place with a constant temperature of +6 +8 o C, but after trying this advice a couple of times in practice, I did not see any special results. But if the bulbs have dried up after long-term storage, then I soak them in any growth stimulant (“Zircon”, “Epin”, “Kornevin”) for three to five hours immediately before planting.

How deep and how best to plant daffodils: in holes or trenches?

The planting depth is three times the height of the bulb - this is the general rule for planting most bulbous plants. However, on light soils, it is desirable to increase the depth by another three to five centimeters. In addition, a sand “cushion” about three centimeters thick is made in the landing pit or hole, and this must also be taken into account when preparing the seat. nine0003

There are two ways of planting bulbs and I conventionally call them “group” and “single”. With a “single” landing on a prepared site, a separate hole is made for each onion, where river sand is first poured. In this case, the traditional “planter” for bulbs will not fit in size, it will be a bit short, so it is better to use a long and narrow scoop. In a similar way, I plant bulbs in relatively inaccessible places with a limited area, for example, between undersized spireas or dwarf conifers. nine0003

When planting a large number of bulbs in a spacious area, it is more convenient to use the “group” method of planting bulbs. The essence of the method is to organize a landing trench or pit of arbitrary shape, from which the soil is removed, then a sandy “cushion” is poured, and only then the bulbs are laid out. This is the method I usually practice, because I like to plant daffodils in large groups (clumps) of 15-30 copies of one variety. With this method, it is more convenient to maintain not only the optimal planting depth, but also the distance between the bulbs. In the allotted area, daffodils have been living with me for seven years without a transplant, so I try to plant the bulbs more spaciously and keep a distance of 15 cm for small ones to 25 cm for large bulbs. nine0003

Daffodils do not require annual digging and replanting, so I use ready-made plastic baskets for bulbs only when it is necessary to separate different varieties in one pit or trench. When planting in baskets, it is very important not to forget to add a layer of river sand to the bottom, then fertile soil, and lay out the bulbs themselves only after watering in order to avoid voids and organize reliable drainage.

Another important point is the installation of garden beacons or sticks that prevent unwanted damage to the planted bulbs during autumn digging. nine0003

After placing the bulbs in the hole, I dust them with wood ash and carefully cover them with earth so that they are not visible, and then water them liberally with a hose. Next, I fill the planting hole or trench with excavated soil, and then mulch with compost (or leaf humus) with a layer of 3–5 centimeters. It seems to me right not to mix fertilizers with prepared soil, but to scatter them on top, therefore, on poor soil, before mulching, I recommend evenly scattering specialized mineral fertilizer for bulbs. If it is possible to visit the garden in early spring, then fertilization can be postponed until the active vegetation of daffodils begins. nine0003

How and when to feed daffodils?

Narcissuses, in my opinion, are less demanding on regular fertilization than luxurious “capricious” tulips or “gluttonous” hyacinths. However, like any spring-flowering bulb, daffodils need additional nutrition to fully recover from the flowering period. And a few years after planting, when the nests of bulbs grow, daffodils begin to experience a shortage of basic nutrients, then fertilizers cannot be dispensed with. nine0003

For spring-flowering bulbs, there is a standard feeding scheme during the growing season using mineral fertilizers. Admirers of organic farming practice an alternative option using natural mineral and organic fertilizers. It seems to me more rational to save wood ash or Khotynets tripoli for vegetable and fruit crops, so for daffodils I use only “mineral water”. The exceptions are natural mulching materials (lowland peat, wood chips, coconut fiber, compost, leaf humus), the use of which is not only effective, but also significantly reduces the labor and time costs for caring for bulbs. nine0003

In the event that daffodils are planted in specially prepared and fertilized soil in autumn, then next year you can not worry about their additional nutrition. I start feeding bulbs from the second year of planting, observing the timing of fertilization and combining with other necessary agrotechnical measures. Work begins in April, when young leaves are just appearing, and the ground has dried up after the snow has melted. Carefully, so as not to damage the plants, I loosen the soil around the daffodils, spill it well from the hose, and then apply nitrogen fertilizer carbamide (urea) and mulch with a layer of 3–4 cm. Consumption rate is a matchbox (13–15 g) per 10 liters of water per square meter of landing area. If it rains, then urea can simply be evenly scattered in the root zone of daffodils. nine0003

When flower stalks form on daffodils, it's time to apply a complex mineral fertilizer at the rate of 30 g per square meter. You can embed granular specialized (for bulbous) or universal spring fertilizer into the soil. It is easier for me to use water-soluble types of fertilizers, for example, nitroammophoska, the application of which saves working time. Just in case, let me remind you that solutions of any mineral fertilizers must be used up within half an hour after preparation, and it is impossible to feed on dry soil! nine0003

Under favorable weather conditions, a bright festival of flowering daffodils of different varieties can last up to a month. Removing faded flower stalks and applying phosphorus-potassium fertilizer twice will help the bulbs stock up on nutrients and prepare for next spring. Immediately after flowering, I spill it over the leaves with a solution of potassium monophosphate (1 tbsp. L per 10 l) with an interval of 10–14 days. I note that if fertilizer with calcium and magnesium was previously applied, then potassium monophosphate is not recommended. nine0003

The quality of flowering and development of daffodils directly depends on soil moisture. From the moment the first sprouts appear until the very beginning of the natural yellowing of the foliage, it is important to keep the soil moderately moist. Of course, mulching plantings eliminates unnecessary trouble, but in dry weather additional watering is required. The root system of daffodils is compact and therefore it is enough to pour a couple of buckets of water per square meter.

Do I need to care for daffodils after flowering? nine0141

When preparing daffodils for a dormant period, nutrients are drained from the roots and leaves into the bulb, so it is highly undesirable to remove withered leaves before they are completely dry. You can either ignore the untidy appearance of plantings with drying leaves, or transform a temporary flaw into an unusual addition to the composition. For example, my neighbor and I make peculiar “hairstyles” from daffodil leaves: she weaves braids, and I do “samurai tails”. Tying the leaves into a bunch is a short but useful job that greatly facilitates weeding. In addition, in the case of a long rainy period, the land in the area with daffodils dries out faster. Daffodils need relatively “dry” conditions during their dormant period, so waterlogging is best avoided. nine0003

When the daffodil leaves are completely dry, they can be removed by first marking the planting boundaries with sticks or garden beacons. I am calm about the sight of empty land where the curtains of “sleeping” spring-flowering bulbs are located. Having a bad experience with trying to decorate an unsightly place with branches of a horizontal juniper, I was convinced of the following. It is better to mulch the plantings in a thin layer and keep them free of weeds and anything else than to provoke bulb rot. nine0003

Autumn care for daffodils is reduced to the application of superphosphate (30 g per sq.m.) in September, watering with water (if necessary) and mulching of areas with daffodils in early November. The mulching layer will serve as protection against drying out during snowless frosts, and will also turn into organic fertilizer by the beginning of spring. Only daffodils planted after October 20 and varieties from the tacet group need additional shelter for the winter.

Can daffodils be affected by diseases and pests? nine0141

In theory, any bulbs under adverse weather conditions or incorrect agricultural practices can be susceptible to rot, fungal diseases or viral diseases. In practice, I have never encountered manifestations of any disease in narcissists. To prevent root rot in May, I plant a useful antagonist fungus in the soil, that is, I use one of the biofungicides (“Gliocladin”, “Trichocin”, “Trichoflor”). A couple of times at the end of May and in June I spray daffodils with a solution of any of the copper-containing preparations, follow the rules of crop rotation and agricultural technology, disinfect planting material and garden tools - and my daffodils do not get sick. nine0003

Narcissus is considered a poisonous plant and it is believed that mice do not touch daffodil bulbs. They may not eat, but they cause significant damage to perennial bulbous plants with their nests and burrows. Therefore, in the matter of placement, I recommended avoiding the neighborhood of daffodils with the supposed places of “winter apartments” of mice. As for insect pests, I have not yet had to take any measures to combat them. While I manage with prevention: I periodically add mustard cake (hot pepper, ground eggshell, ash) around the plantings and use only healthy planting material. Plus, coniferous plants located nearby provide significant assistance, the essential oils of which repel insect pests. nine0003

How and when to transplant daffodils?

Even if you take care of and feed daffodils according to all the rules, after six years it becomes necessary to transplant them to a new place. Bulb nests grow, the number of babies increases, there is a nutritional deficiency - all this affects flowering.

The photo shows how weak the flowering of daffodils, planted more than ten years ago, becomes. You can start digging up daffodil bulbs after the foliage has dried, that is, at the end of June. Planting daffodils in special plastic baskets greatly simplifies the work, because you just need to dig, remove the containers and free the bulbs from the ground. nine0003

When digging, one must manage not only not to damage the bulbs with a tool, but also try not to break the nests of daffodils. I usually remove the top layer of earth first, and then carefully remove the bulbs. With this work, I do not remove the preserved lower part of the leaves and roots, but only clean it from the ground, and without fanaticism, so as not to scratch it. Next, I put the bulbs according to varieties in mesh boxes and send them to a dry, dark place with good ventilation for a week.

To get a lot of quality planting material, you need to properly divide the nests of daffodil bulbs. Only that narcissus baby will take root well, which has a common bottom with the mother bulb. When dividing, it is better to just gently break off the babies, rejecting the damaged ones and sorting out too small young bulbs.

Cleaned from the remnants of the earth and exfoliated scales, I soak the prepared planting material in a thiram-based fungicide, and then dry it in the shade in a draft. After that, I once again reject bulbs of dubious quality and then dust the finished material with a mixture of ash and crushed chalk (1: 1). Further storage takes place in a dark, cool and, most importantly, dry place at a temperature of +16 +18 o C.

Every passionate gardener knows that the pursuit of perfection is endless and is not limited by time or conditions. But when creating a “dream garden”, we sometimes choose a path that is too complicated and time consuming. But you can get closer to the cherished ideal using reliable and easy-to-cultivate plants.

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