Best Daffodils for the South

Tried and True Varieties for Growing Zones 8 and 9

No matter how short or mild the winter, everyone is happy when spring arrives. This is as true in Texas as it is in Maine.

And what better way to celebrate the coming of spring than with daffodils? These easy and adaptable flowers bloom bravely and reliably almost everywhere in the country. Daffodils are particularly valuable in southern states where many other spring bulbs require pre-chilling or simply do not flower well.

Over the years, gardeners in growing zones 8 and 9 have discovered that some daffodils perform better than others. In general, it's best to stick with types that are native to areas with warmer winters. These include varieties in four families of daffodil: JonquillaTazettaTriandrus and Cyclamineus. Read on to learn about some of the best daffodils for the south.


Heat Tolerant Jonquilla Daffodils

Jonquilla daffodils have petite flowers with small, open cups. There are usually several flowers per stem and most varieties are wonderfully fragrant. The foliage of Jonquilla daffodils is narrow and grass-like, which makes it easier to work these bulbs into flower beds. Shown above is the variety Sun Disc when it first opens. As the blossoms mature, the outer petals become pure yellow.


Jonquilla daffodils are good for naturalizing, growing in containers and for indoor forcing. They are also beautiful in a vase. And, while these long-lasting, heat tolerant daffodils perform well in southern gardens, they are equally suitable for the north. Shown left to right above are Jonquilla Daffodils PipitBeautiful Eyes, and Silver Smiles.


Petite Daffodils for the South

The Cyclamineus family of daffodils is relatively easy to recognize. Most varieties have reflexed (pulled back) petals and small, narrow cups. All are moisture and shade tolerant and good for forcing. They bloom in early spring and tend to be shorter in stature than most other daffodils. Shown above is the variety Tete a Tete.


Shown above left to right are the varieties Jetfire, Baby Boomer and Tete Boucle.


Tazetta Daffodils for Warm Climates

These daffodils bear their flowers in clusters, with anywhere from 2 to 20 dainty blossoms per stem. The flowers have short cups, rounded petals and an intense, sweet fragrance. They are very long-lasting in both the garden and vase. Shown above is the variety Golden Dawn.


Tazetta daffodils perform beautifully in gardens and containers. They are also excellent for indoor forcing. In fact, paperwhites are members of the tazetta family. Not all varieties of tazettas are winter hardy in northern climates, so if you live in zones 3-5, be sure to check the hardiness rating before you buy. Show above, left to right are Tazetta Daffodils CragfordAvalanche and Falconet.


More Daffodils for Warm Climates

There are three more daffodil varieties that gardeners in growing zones 8-9 often recommend. These are Erlicheer, which is classified as a double, Thalia, which is a Triandrus daffodil, and the small cup variety Barrett Browning. Shown above is Tazetta Daffodil Minnow


If you find some of these daffodils for the south are sold out, or are reading this off season, keep in mind that you can reserve fall-planted bulbs starting in July, and we will deliver them at the proper planting time for your area. Shown above, left to right are the varieties Barrett BrowningErlicheer and Thalia.

To learn more about daffodils, you may be interested in reading the following articles on our website: Planting Guide for DaffodilsBest Daffodils for Naturalizing and All About Daffodils.

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