How to Grow Daffodils

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
March 16, 2006
Growing: Daffodil
Botanical Name: Narcissus
Life Cycle: perennial bulb
Planting Time: fall
Height: 10" to 18"
Exposure: full sun to light shade
Soil: rich, well-drained soil
Hardiness: zones 3 to 10
Bloom Time: late winter or early spring
Flower: white, yellow (or combinations of the two), pink, orange and gold; single, double or clusters of cup-shaped flowers surrounded by 6 leaves
Foliage: green
Propagation: bulbs
Suggested Use: beds, borders, walkways and containers
Growing Hints: Purchase bulbs for planting in the summer or fall. Plant bulbs two times as deep as the bulb is tall (about 4 to 6 inches below the surface). If you have heavy clay soil, prepare holes with plenty of peat for drainage or consider planting bulbs in raised beds or containers. Daffodils don't like soggy soil. Plant bulbs in large groups for the greatest color. Choose cultivars from divisions that bloom at slightly different times to keep flowers continuously blooming.
Shopping Hints: "Landscape-size" or "single-nose" bulbs are three years old and produce one flower stem the first season. These bulbs are usually the least expensive. "Bedding-size" or double-nose" bulbs are four years old and produce two stems the first season. "Exhibition-size" or "triple-nose" bulbs are five years old and produce three or more flower stems the first season. They are also the most expensive.
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September 18, 2008

If you are having trouble with something eating your flower bulbs, try planting daffodils around your flower bulbs. Daffodils are toxic to mice and voles. Worked great for me.

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April 22, 2012

Of all the bulbs that bloom in the late winter and early spring, daffodils (Narcissus) are among the easiest and most rewarding to grow. If given minimum care at planting time they will grow, bloom, and increase in number with virtually no further attention from you.


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March 16, 2006
Q: I just received a gift of potted Daffodils. Of course, I hope to be able to plant these outside, and I am curious as to the best way to do this. The ground is frozen right now obviously. Do I plant them in spring right from the pot or is there some special care I should take?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Thanks for all help. :)
Leslie from Barrie, Ontario

A: Leslie,

You have two good options. The first is to plant your daffodils in the garden in the spring. If all goes well, they will return to their natural cycle, however, it sometimes takes 2 to 3 years for bulbs to come back after being forced indoors.

You can also store them over summer and plant them in the fall the same way you would new bulbs. To do this, keep your plants as healthy and active as you can while indoors. After they bloom, remove the spent flowers to prevent them from forming seeds. Place them in a cool, sunny location and let the foliage die back naturally. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. You can fertilize them once a month with a plant fertilizer until they look like they're dieing back. The longer they stay green, the stronger the bulb will be and the more likely it will bloom next year. After the foliage dies back, quit watering and let the soil dry out.


Store the bulbs in a cool, dry place until you plant them in the fall. Plant the bulbs 2 times as deep as they are tall (usually 4 to 6 inches deep) in full sun. Daffodils do not like soggy soil so make sure to plant them where they get adequate drainage.


By Kim (Guest Post)
February 24, 20060 found this helpful

Same advice with crocus, Leslie. Just plant them in the ground. Daffodils will only grow greens the first year, and the second year will produce blooms. Like all bulbs, let the leaves die on their own to give nutrition to the bulbs for the following year. This is the hardest thing for me, letting the leaves stay for a while, looking dead with the other flowers but it's necessary. Enjoy them!

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By Taylor Marye-Baker (Guest Post)
February 25, 20060 found this helpful

My birthday is in March and I always get potted daffodils / jonquils as a gift. For years I planted them in my garden in a circular pattern around our fire pit. Every spring I loved seeing my fairy circle appear. You can place your flower bulbs in the basement or in a dark closet after they have finished blooming.


In October you can plant the bulbs in the ground. Don't ever mow the leaves down before they have completely turned brown or your flowers won't bloom the next year.

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By (Guest Post)
February 25, 20060 found this helpful

Hi Leslie....Courtland, Ontario here. I just wait till frost is over and plant both daffodils and crocus. I find they will come up the next year. I have done this with all the outside plants you can buy in the stores before spring, tulips too. good luck, :0)

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By Leslie (Guest Post)
February 26, 20060 found this helpful

Thanks, all, that is great. Sounds easy enough.

I am excited to see what happens with them in a couple years. I never knew patience till I started gardening :D

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Answer this Question

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 109 Posts
September 26, 2011

I am going to be planting a lot of bulbs, both tulips and daffodils (separately). I am going to be planting these in a few different areas and I am looking for idea of wildflowers/perennial flowers that would look nice with these two different bulb flowers. The bulbs are both 3 month blooming groups, meaning, there are different types of bulbs within the group so some bloom early, some middle, and some at the end of the season.

Thanks so much!

By mindy from Terrebonne, OR


September 28, 20110 found this helpful

Dear Mindy, I find good companion plants for bulbs, are Virginian stock or Alyssium (sweet Alice). Both are low growing, gentle plants, and allow the bulbs to be the main attraction.


Regards Jean, Maffra, Gippsland, Australia

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this page.

March 30, 2011

I love gardening, and these daffodils are the first hint that spring is finally here! I spend all summer in my flower gardens taking photos as the blooming progresses.

A beautiful white daffodil with a brilliant center.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 170 Posts
April 13, 2013

I just love WV this time of year. After a cold winter and a lot of snow, its great to get out and smell and see the flowers.

Clumps of daffodils.

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December 18, 2017

This page contains photos of daffodils. Although we may be most familiar with the bright, sunny daffodil variety there are many lovely sizes and colors of this easy to grow bulb.

Yellow Daffodils

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