Daffodils, also known by their botanical name narcissus, are easy and reliable spring-flowering bulbs. They multiply quickly and return to bloom again each spring, year after year. They are not fussy about soil, will grow in sun or shade and are not bothered by deer, rabbits and other pesky critters.
Yellow is by far the most common color for daffodils, but the blossoms also come in other colors such as white, cream, orange and even pink. There are several different flower styles, including trumpets, doubles, split-cups, large-cups and jonquillas. Planting an assortment of different types of daffodils will give you 4 to 6 weeks of beautiful, carefree flowers every spring.
It’s easy to see the difference in quality when you compare two daffodil bulbs side by side. As with most flower bulbs, narcissus are graded by size and measured in centimeters around the “waist” of the bulb. Larger, 14/16cm daffodil bulbs (shown at far left) will produce more stems and more flowers than smaller, 12/14cm bulbs.
Each year’s crop of daffodil bulbs is a little different, due to weather conditions before and during the harvest. Bulb size also varies by cultivar, with some varieties of daffodils naturally producing larger bulbs than others. We purchase the largest, highest quality bulbs possible and guarantee that you will be pleased with your purchase.
To see our selection of more than 30 daffodil varieties, plus mixes, pairs and collections, click HERE.
Sun or Shade: Daffodils will grow in full sun or partial shade.
Hardiness Zone: Daffodils are winter hardy in zones 3-8 and will return to bloom again each year. If you don't know your hardiness zone, reference the USDA Hardiness Zone Map here.
Soil Conditions: Daffodils are not fussy about soil. They are happy to grow almost anywhere as long as the soil is not soggy.
Front Yards and Entryways: Planting daffodils in front of your house will let you and your neighbors enjoy a wave of welcoming spring color for years to come. To extend the flowering season, choose varieties with complementary bloom times. For a formal look, plant in blocks, keeping each variety separate. Combining several flower shapes and colors will give you a more casual and naturalistic effect.
Perennial Gardens: Daffodils are in bloom weeks before most perennials begin to stir. Planting some bulbs in your flower beds will ensure you have flowers as soon as the weather begins to warm up. Miniature daffodils are a good choice for perennial gardens as their grassy foliage ripens more quickly than standard types.
Containers and Window Boxes: Daffodils are traditionally planted in yards and gardens, but they also grow well in containers. This makes it easy to add instant spring charm to porches, patios or small urban gardens. In zones 6 and colder, potted bulbs need winter protection to keep the soil from freezing.
Cut Flower Gardens: Celebrate the color and fragrance of spring with bouquets of daffodils that can be enjoyed indoors or be shared with friends and family. Planting daffodils in a cutting garden will ensure you always have plenty of blossoms to cut.
Naturalizing: Daffodils are ideal for naturalizing in meadows, wooded areas or near ponds and streams. They come back reliably every year and are not bothered by deer or rodents. For recommended varieties, read Best Daffodils for Naturalizing.
When to Plant: Daffodils may be planted from mid-fall through early winter -- any time before the ground freezes. For best results, plant the bulbs within a month after you receive them.
Depth and Spacing: Dig a hole 6” deep. Set the daffodil bulb into the hole pointy side up. Cover the bulb with soil and water the area if the soil is dry.
Planting Tips: Daffodils look best when they are planted in informal groups rather than in straight rows. Clusters of bulbs in a triangular, oval or rectangular shape will have a fuller, more natural look.
Daffodils prefer well-drained soil, though they will grow almost anywhere.
To enjoy the daffodil season for as long as possible, select varieties that bloom at different times (early, mid and late season). An assortment of different varieties will ensure new flowers are opening as others are fading. See suggestions HERE.
To watch our video about How to Plant Daffodils, click HERE.
Daffodil bulbs develop roots in the fall and then go dormant until early spring. Depending where you live, you can expect the leaves to begin emerging from the soil as early as February or as late as May. Early-blooming varieties will appear sooner than late-blooming varieties.
In spring, the first thing you will see emerging from the soil is the tips of the leaves. Daffodil foliage is very cold hardy and not harmed by snow or freezing temperatures. When the foliage is several inches tall, the flower buds will begin to emerge from the base of the plant. The stems will gradually get taller, the buds will get larger and begin to show color and start opening. Depending on weather conditions, you can expect this process to take 3-6 weeks.
The first spring after planting, most daffodil bulbs will produce from one to three flowers. Over time the bulbs will divide and multiply, giving you an ever more impressive show of color. If the clumps become very large, flower production may decrease. The best time to dig, divide and replant the clumps is right after flowering.
Daffodils are hardy in zones 3-8 and do not need to be dug out at the end of the season. Once planted, the bulbs will bloom again every spring, usually in increasing numbers. Follow these simple tips to enjoy beautiful daffodils for many years to come.
Allow the foliage to continue growing until it dies back naturally. Daffodil bulbs use their foliage to store energy so they can produce more flowers the following year.
Once the foliage has withered and lost its green color, it can be cut down to soil level or be removed with a gentle tug.