Daffodils are a common spring bulb in many gardens. Most spring blooming
varieties are considered hardy in zones 3 to 8. Daffodils are most common in
the colors yellow, white, and pink. Some varieties are available with fringed
or double petals. The center ring of flower petals, on single blooming
varieties, are often referred to as the trumpet or cup. The trumpet may be
large, small, or even lay flat against the other petals. Butterfly Daffodils have
broad, flat, split cups that lay flat against the other petals. There are also
summer blooming daffodils which are hardy in zones 6 to 9. Daffodils usually
grow to a height of about 16 to 28 inches. Miniature varieties may only get 6
to 14 inches tall. The miniatures will usually have smaller flowers along with
the shorter stems. Spring daffodils are planted in the fall and flower early to
mid spring. They look better when planted in groups. Daffodils require little
work once planted. Daffodils and other spring bulbs have a short growing
season. I personally like to plant spring bulbs around evergreens and other
perennials. This way I am not left with an empty patch come summer time.
Some people will plant spring bulbs in the lawn, but they should not be cut
down until the leaves turn brown naturally.
Growth and Propagation of Daffodils:
Spring blooming daffodils grow from bulbs. They are planted in the fall and
bloom early to mid spring. They need a winter cool down period which is why
they are planted in the fall. They may be planted in full sun to shaded areas.
Many varieties will bloom before the leaves come out on other trees which
will give them more sun. The green leaves must be allowed to die back
naturally after the plants are done flowering. This is to produce energy for
the next years flowers.
Daffodil bulbs will multiply from offsets or bulbets. Offsets are often seen
growing from the base of the parent bulb. The bulbets will grow from the
stem, or root of the plant, below ground level. They will multiply until they
become overcrowded. Once overcrowded, the plants should continue to bloom
well without division. The bulbs usually only require division to spread the
patch out. On a rare occasion it may help to divide the patch if you notice a
reduction in the number of flowers. I have divided six inch diameter clumps
which had over 60 bulbs. It is also possible for daffodils to multiply from seed.
You never know what you are going to get from a seed, unless you control the
pollination process. It also takes longer to get flowers when multiplying by
Daffodils like lots of water in well drained soil. Wet soil will rot the bulbs.
Squirrels, chipmunks, and field mice will not eat daffodil bulbs. On occasion,
they will dig up the bulbs anyways. Some people will coat the bulbs with a
fungicide or animal repellent with mixed results. Other techniques include
putting crushed sea shells or wire mesh over the bulbs to make it harder to
dig. I plant my bulbs at the maximum depth of about 6 inches to the bottom of
the hole. I use a bulb planter to loosen up as little soil as possible. I prepare
the ground in advance. I then let the neighborhood cats take care of the rest.
The leaves must also receive enough sun or the bulbs will die out. The leaves
must be allowed to die back naturally. Deer will not bother daffodils unless
they have nothing else to eat. You should always wear gloves and wash your
hands when handling Daffodil bulbs. This will help to prevent irritation and
allergic reactions to plants which are considered poisonous.
Summer blooming daffodils are hardy in zones 6 to 9. They may be planted in
This page was developed to share my gardening and landscaping experience
with others. The site contains only general information on different plants. I
do not guarantee all information to be accurate. I do not accept any
responsibility for anyone's growing success. Please consult with your plant or
seed supplier for detailed planting instructions.
Above: Daffodils are starting to come up.
Photo taken 3-23-08