Daffodils Planting & Growing Guide

We've worked with daffodil 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 large and healthy. Choose with the confidence. These daffodil bulbs deliver blooms to rival those of your favorite florist.

  • Planting Depth
    Species dependent; Top 1" bulb exposed indoors, 3-6" deep outdoors
  • Planting Proximity
    3" Apart
  • Planting Season
    Fall to Winter
  • Plant Benefits
    Early spring charmers that are loved by many gardeners. Plus they are so easy to grow!
  • Water Quantity
    Moderate with growth
  • Bloom Season
    Blooms early spring outdoors
  • Sunlight Quantity
    Bright Direct for indoor forcing; Full to partial sun outdoors
  • Hardiness Zones
    Varies, species dependent; Zones 3-9

Where to Plant

While Daffodils are incredibly easy to grow, plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil are key to their happiness. If you notice puddles of water 5–6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site or amend the soil with organic material to raise the level 2–3 inches. Daffodils fancy a spot where they will receive sun for all or most of the day.

When to Plant

Plant your Daffodil bulbs from September through December outdoors. These beauties are tough as nails and will tolerate being planted in 100-degree or 40-degree soil. You can expect roots to form in the fall, with buds and flowers emerging in the spring. Those gardening in warm regions may notice some foliage in the fall on select varieties.

How to Plant

  • For outdoor landscape planting, find a spot where the soil drains well, and your Daffodils will receive full sun for all or most of the day. Dig holes and tuck the bulbs into the ground with the pointed tops 3–6" below the soil surface facing upward. Place smaller bulbs more shallowly than larger ones, allowing 4–5 bulbs per square foot.
  • For container planting, select a vessel large enough to accommodate the mature size of your plants and fill it with good quality, well-drained soil—almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Ensure there are adequate drainage holes in your pots, as Daffodils must never sit in waterlogged soil. Dig holes and tuck the bulbs into the soil with their pointed tops 3–6" below the soil surface facing upward. Place smaller bulbs more shallowly than larger ones, allowing 6–8 bulbs per square foot.
  • Water thoroughly after planting, soaking the soil to settle it around the bulbs.

How to Grow

  • Water as needed during active growth periods; about 1" of moisture per week is a good estimate.
  • Leave the foliage in place at the end of the blooming season rather than cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight to create food through photosynthesis, strengthening the bulbs for the future.
  • Remove the foliage around late spring or early summer when it turns yellow and dies back as the plant slips into dormancy.
  • Allow your Daffodils to rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.

Daffodil Tips & Tricks

  • Amend the soil with compost, finely ground bark, or decomposed manure to improve the drainage as needed.
  • Feel free to snip stems for bouquets while in bloom, as doing so will not hurt the plants, and Daffodils are exceptional for arrangements.
  • Help mitigate the effects of both very cold nights and big temperature swings by overwintering container-planted bulbs in an unheated garage in zones 6 and colder.
  • Pull overwintered pots outside in late February or March and wait for the sprouts to appear!
  • Avoid mixing Daffodils with other spring flowers in cut arrangements. The sap produced by these bright bloomers contains a chemical that causes other blooms in the same vase to wilt.