Daffodils (Narcissus) are classified under Amaryllidaceae and are native to mountainous and humid regions around the Mediterranean. The current range of daffodils is very diverse which is caused by various hybrids being crossed. Daffodils are conspicuous for their unusual flowers – in some cases for their scent too. There are hundreds of varieties of daff – large flowered and small flowered among all of those.
Large flowered daffodil bulbs are often divided into: trumpet flowers, large crowned and small crowned, split crowned, and double and ‘botanical’ daffodils. The differentiation between the various varieties is also classified by the number of flowers per flower stem; long, short or double petals and scented or not. The flower shade can vary from white, to cream, pink, orange and even red.
Planting daffodil bulbs
Plant your narcissus bulbs with a trowel or use a special bulb planter, straight into the garden soil – or of course into pots and planter. Depending on the size of the bulbs, you will get one or more flower stems per bulb. They need nice loose and fertile soil. Water immediately after planting.
- Layer the base of any pot, planter or window box with clay pellets and cover that with potting compost.
- Stand the narcissus bulbs on the soil, point up, properly spaced.
- Cover with soil to a sufficient depth and press them well in.
- Mix the daffodil bulbs with hardy perennials or annual bedding plants and water them in.
- Find the best spot for your daffs.
- Fork the soil nice and loos and stab the trowel deep into the soil.
- Pull the trowel towards you to create a sufficiently large and deep hole.
- Plant each bulb, point up at 15-20 cm deep and about 15 cm apart.
- Cover the bulbs over and press the soil well in… water immediately.
What to do after floweringYou can leave daffodils just where they are for years to come. They are pretty frost resistant as long as you plant them early enough (before September). This allows them to grow enough roots before the first frosts. Cut back all the overblown flowers but only cut the leaves away once they are all gone yellow. This lets all the energy go back into the bulb. After flowering is also the best time to give your daffodils a bit extra fertiliser so they will give you lots more flowers next year.
Tips for using with other plantsDaffodils go well with flowering annuals, perennials or other bulbs. Try summer flower daffodil ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’ with tiger lilies. They should look really cheerful in a border or even in pots on the patio. Most daffodils make great cut flowers too and they will usually last about a week for you! It’s not a good idea though to have daffodils and tulips together in a vase because the tulips are liable to wilt when together with them.
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