Daffodils can be planted in tubs,
containers of almost any type, in the garden, under
lawns or naturalised in woodlands.
One thing is certain about Daffodils - whatever the weather,
they are the true sign that Spring is at last pushing away the
dull, grey days of winter.
Seemingly unperturbed by their long
sleep beneath freezing soil, they burst forth to cheer
us up with a magnificent splash of colour. Yellow, has
long been recognised as a cheerful colour. I wonder if
the daffodil had anything to do with that.
Nowadays Daffodils are
available in an increasing rage of colours - and
White through to
deepest orange. Single blooms or 'scrambled eggs'
nodding away in the spring breezes - gales. All this,
and so easy to attain!
Choosing the bulbs
Narcissus (Daffodils) are
normally available in UK from mid August onward, and are best
planted at that time, but planting can be extended right through
to end of October. Even if planted in November, they will not
disappoint in the following spring, but may well not be as good
for the following year. Information that actually answers the
question - what is a Daffodil?
Good healthy firm bulbs are to
be found almost any garden centre these days. Much care is taken
by UK and Dutch growers to ensure that you get good healthy
daffodil bulbs. Recent 'experiments' have been carried out to
see if there are mote flower stems from 'double-nosed' bulbs.
There aren't, but the larger the bulb generally, the more flower
stems. Double bulbs usually have a large bulb and small bulb
attached, and it seems that the smaller 'twin' usually sprouts
So, good firm bulbs - either
from open bins or pre-packs if you want something a little bit
Planting Daffodil Bulbs
Whatever the size of bulb, it
should be planted at 3 times its depth, so for the normal
daffodils, this will be around 5-6in deep, and the rockery bulbs
will be planted maybe 4in deep.
These planting depths are the
same whether in open garden, woodland, or naturalised under the
lawn. If the soil is damp, then have a little bit of sandy
compost ready to ensure that the planted bulb has a soil
'jacket' with no gaps as with lumpy clay soils.
For a good show in the spring,
plant the normal daffodils at 8- 10in spacing, with the
miniature daffodils closer - at 4-6in apart.
At planting time, a good
dressing of slow acting bonemeal fertilizer, will help the bulbs
get established, and also ensure good blooms the following
When to Plant Daffodils
Ideally, Daffodils should be
planted quite early in the Autumn - or even late summer. August
is not too early, but September through to October will also be
ok. You can even plant them after Christmas, but the flowers
will not be so good, they will be late, and the plants will
generally be poor quality. But, leave then in the ground, and
they will be ok for the following year.
The roots of the bulbs will
start to grow almost as soon as you plant them, and it is not
unusual to see the first shoots coming up through the ground as
early as December with some varieties. Certainly by January
February most Daffodils will be showing through the ground or
grass. The earlier they are planted, the stanger the plant and
flowers will be.
Naturalising Daffodils in
Planting your bulbs as above,
but it might be easier to strip and roll back the turf in order
to plant the daffodil bulbs. A point to remember when
naturalising in the lawn, is that daffodils are best left to die
down naturally after flowering so, this will mean uncut lawn
areas in the spring - for about 6 weeks after the flower shave
died off. Plan the areas of your lawn that you are prepared to
see uncut - maybe 6-8 tall grass - in the spring months. If you
have trees in the lawn, or perhaps specimen shrubs, then
daffodils naturalised under these will always look good. Dwarf Daffodil
Bulbs are particularly good for naturalising in your lawn
When using daffodils under
lawns, look out for instructions on the pack which denote that
they are suitable for naturalising. One of my favourites for
this, is the dwarf Tete a Tete. never fails, is early and dwarf
enough not to be bothered by any strong winds.
Aftercare of Daffodils
Look after your Daffodils
after they have finished flowering if you want a good show the
following year as well. This advice is for daffodils planted
Never cut the foliage off -
let it die down naturally, for during this time, the foliage is
necessary for supplying the underground bulb with the food it
needs in order to start preparing its flower buds inside, ready
for next spring. Daffodil bulbs are quite busy little things.
You may only see the results in the spring, but much is going on
inside of the bulb for most of the year!
Right after flowering, feed
the area with a good liquid feed - tomato feed is suitable -
over the foliage and into the ground. this helps the bulb to
build up the reserves it need to produce flower buds throughout
the early summer - but still unseen - inside the bulb!
Remove all of the faded
flowers as soon as possible - including the little bulbous seed
head that soon forms behind the fading flowers.
Planting Daffodils in
In the spring, you will see
daffodils for sale at your local garden centres in shallow pots,
with the 'noses' of the bulbs poking out of what little soil has
been used. This is NOT the way for you to go if you want a good
display of Daffodils in containers on the patio. (The garden
centres shallow potted ones have been grown in in a special
way in order to get them to you as cheap as possible!)
Any planting container is
suitable for daffodils - as long as it is free draining.
Multi-purpose compost can be used - or garden soil if suitable.
With container planting, the bulbs can be planted a bit closer
together, as they are normally removed after flowering, and can
then be planted in the garden - whilst still in leaf - to allow
them to die down naturally. Try planting daffodils in containers
in a couple of layers. A layer of daffodil bulbs at around 8-10
deep, cover with a little soil, then another layer of bulbs on
top of that. They will all flower at the same time, but will be
at different heights -quite attractive.
Growing Daffodils Indoors |