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Daffodils Planting Guide

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Choices are Great . . . Up to a Point
Daffodils

Ever had too many choices, so many you just couldn't decide? That's what happens with many flower bulb offerings. Because the shop or catalog owner loves them all, you're forced to wade through a selection that is overwhelming.

You want to avoid choosing weak performers and the ill-matched varieties for your location. We'll help. We've worked with bulbs for years and have grown hundreds of cultivars ourselves. That experience, along feedback from others, has been used to trim the list of available daffodils down from over 8,000 to a handful of the very best. If they are listed here, they are proven winners. In addition to excellent varieties, these bulbs are huge and healthy. We sell the largest grades available so you get more flowers that last longer. Choose with the confidence. These bulbs deliver blooms to rival those of your favorite florist.

Outdoor Beds
  1. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2-3" to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available. Daffodils will not thrive in water logged soils.
  2. Site your daffs where they will receive sun for all or most of the day.
  3. Dig holes and plant the bulbs with their pointed tops 4-7” below the soil surface with smaller bulbs placed more shallowly than larger ones. Allow 4 to 5 bulbs per square foot. Plant September through December; daffodils are tough and can be planted in 100 degree or 40 degree soil. Plant with the pointy side of the bulb facing upwards.
  4. After planting, water daffodils well to settle the soil around the bulbs. Roots will form in the autumn. In warm regions some foiliage may also develop in the fall on select varieties. Buds and flowers are produced in the spring.
  5. When in bloom, feel free to cut daffodil flowers for bouquets. This will not hurt the plants. One caution: daffodil sap contains a chemical that causes other flowers in the same vase to wilt. This is why you don't see daffodils mixed with other spring flowers in arrangements.
  6. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulbs for the future. Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1" of moisture per week is a good estimate.
  7. By late spring or early summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plants slip into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your daffodils will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.
Pots, Barrels, Tubs & Urns
  1. Find a large container and fill it with good quality, well-drained soil. Almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes; daffodil bulbs must never sit in water logged soil or they will rot.
  2. Site your daffs where they will receive sun for all or most of the day.
  3. Plant the bulbs with their pointed tops 4-7” below the soil surface with smaller bulbs placed more shallowly than larger ones. Allow 6 to 8 bulbs per square foot. Plant September through December; daffodils are tough and can be planted in 100 degree or 40 degree soil. Plant with the pointy side of the bulb facing upwards.
  4. After planting, water daffodils well to settle the soil around the bulbs. Roots will form in the autumn. In warm regions some foiliage may also develop in the fall on select varieties. Buds and flowers are produced in the spring.
  5. When in bloom, feel free to cut daffodil flowers for bouquets. This will not hurt the plants. One caution: daffodil sap contains a chemical that causes other flowers in the same vase to wilt. This is why you don't see daffodils mixed with other spring flowers in arrangements.
  6. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulbs for the future. Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1" of moisture per week is a good estimate.
  7. By late spring or early summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plants slip into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your daffodils will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.

Note: For container plantings in zone 6 and colder, we recommend overwintering pots in an unheated garage. This helps mitigate the effects of both very cold nights and the big temperature swings that can come with sunny winter days and bitter nights. Pull the pots outside in late February or March and watch for daffodil sprouts to appear.




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