Find out how to develop daffodils for years of lovely spring flowers

If you happen to develop daffodils, they’ll come again yr after yr, usually rising in quantity.

Not like tulips, that are beautiful and vibrant, however far much less dependable, daffodils are easy-going and unfold.

Daffodils are additionally thought of to be deer, squirrel, rodent and rabbit-proof, though previous fingers will say that some deer, squirrels or rabbits will eat something.

So I’ve determined to plant solely daffodils within the backyard this autumn, and to plant all my tulips in pots as a substitute.

Tulips in pots can create superb shows and are a lot simpler than tulips within the floor. See Dan Cooper’s recommendation on grouping tulips in pots right here.

And you’ll find out extra about rising tulips right here.

All the key bulb suppliers have ‘the right way to plant daffodils’ directions. As they plant and develop daffodils for a dwelling, I’d say they’ve essentially the most correct and updated info, so I checked recommendation on de Jager, Bloms Bulbs, Peter Nyssen, Farmer Gracy, Sarah Raven, Crocus, Gee Tee Bulbs, Thompson & Morgan and Avon Bulbs. I’ve additionally checked out a number of the main gardening recommendation websites.

What’s the distinction between daffodils and narcissi?

There isn’t a distinction. Daffodil is the widespread title and narcissus is the botanical title for a similar plant.

However typically growers name a few of them ‘daffodils’ and a few ‘narcissi’ when labelling them on the market.

While you obtain your daffodils…

All of the specialist bulb growers mentioned it’s best to plant your daffodil bulbs as quickly as you get them. If you happen to can’t try this, then take them out of their plastic luggage and retailer them someplace cool and darkish till you’ll be able to plant them.

If you happen to depart them in a plastic bag, they’re extra prone to rot or develop mouldy.

The place are you able to develop daffodils?

Daffodils are glad in solar or partial shade and in all kinds of soils. However they don’t like being actually moist.

They’re very chilly hardy, so can take very extreme winters, right down to minus 20C, minus 4F and typically even colder.

Nonetheless, they gained’t be glad in hotter international locations. Daffodils develop effectively within the UK, Northern Europe, the Northern a part of America and the southern, cooler elements of Australia, however there are fewer varieties for hotter areas like Florida.

Daffodils develop effectively subsequent to deciduous timber and shrubs, as a result of their leaves are off within the winter. However there’s common settlement that they could not flower so effectively if very shaded by evergreen timber and shrubs.

How to grow daffodils

This deciduous tree in Doddington Place Gardens loses all its leaves in winter, so the rising daffodils can benefit from the daylight. When the leaves are again on the timber, the daffodils will already be again beneath floor and dormant.

Narcissus Thalia in a shady border

This beautiful white daffodil (Narcissus ‘Thalia’) grows in my very shady border, on the fringe of a cover of an evergreen conifer. It comes again yr after yr. So typically daffodils might be extra tolerant of shade than you would possibly anticipate – it’s undoubtedly value experimenting on the place you’ll be able to develop daffodils. Nonetheless, in case your they aren’t flowering they usually’re in fairly deep shade, transfer them as that’s most likely the explanation.

There are extra concepts on the place to plant spring bulbs on this publish from Doddington Place Gardens.

Find out how to plant daffodils

Firstly, all the time plant daffodils (and different bulbs) with the sharp finish upwards.

Most bulb growers suggest planting bulbs at a depth that’s 3 times the peak of the bulb.  Some mentioned 2x or 4x the peak of the bulb, and most mentioned depart 10cm-15cm of soil above the bulb. There’s not an enormous distinction between these completely different measurements, so 3x the peak of the bulb appears a secure one to go for.

Most beneficial that you just plant daffodils between 2″/5cm and 6″/15cm aside. The RHS says plant bulbs twice their width aside. You’ll be able to plant smaller bulbs nearer than bigger ones.

The most typical suggestion was to plant daffodils about 4″/10cm aside, however experiment in case you want the look of them slightly additional aside or nearer collectively. Most daffodils will unfold, so they need to develop nearer along with time.

Growing daffodils - how to plant them right.

Find out how to prepare daffodil bulbs when planting

Don’t plant daffodils in neat rows. They appear greatest in teams in borders. If planting in grass, throw handful of bulbs calmly throughout and plant the place they land. That appears pure.

If you happen to’re planting in a border, dig a gap or trench so as to plant 5,7 or 9 bulbs in a single gap. Then cowl them up with soil.

Till just lately, I merely used a slender trowel to make particular person holes for bulb planting, however I’ve now purchased a protracted dealt with Spear & Jackson bulb planter.

If you happen to’re planting daffodils in grass, use a bulb planter as a result of it can take a small plug of soil and grass out. You then drop the bulb in, and pop the soil and grass plug again on high.

Some folks want planting bulbs with an auger, which is a spiral blade for an influence drill.  If you happen to use energy instruments, then it makes bulb planting very fast.

Word that hyperlinks to Amazon are affiliate, see disclosure.

When do you have to fertilise daffodils?

Not one of the specialist bulb growers beneficial including fertiliser if you really plant daffodils, though many prompt including compost to the planting gap or placing a layer of compost on high as soon as the bulbs have been planted.

Nonetheless, you’ll typically be instructed so as to add a gradual launch fertiliser to the planting gap if you’re planting daffodils.

Personally, I might go along with the specialist bulb growers’ recommendation. You don’t want so as to add fertiliser to the planting gap. Bulbs have gotten all the things they want for subsequent yr’s flowering within the bulb if you plant it. Including fertiliser to the planting gap gained’t have an effect on that flowering.

Nonetheless, as soon as the inexperienced leaves develop in spring, the bulbs begin to use these shops up. They are going to certainly need extra diet for subsequent yr’s bulb. Nonetheless, by then, a gradual launch fertiliser will largely have been washed away, though some parts might stay.

Right here it’s value clarifying the distinction between backyard compost/mulch and fertiliser. Fertiliser is directed at a selected plant, however doesn’t enhance the fertility of the soil as an entire. Backyard compost and mulches, resembling effectively rotted manure, enhance the soil’s common fertility. If you happen to add a layer to your soil a minimum of yearly, you’ll assist all of your crops, not simply your bulbs.

Suggestions fluctuate on how and when to feed bulbs within the spring, however there appeared to be common settlement {that a} liquid seaweed or comfrey feed simply earlier than, simply after or round or simply after flowering will profit the bulb. This publish has extra about making your individual fertilisers in your backyard.

You don't need to fertilise daffodils

A collection of daffodils in my backyard, which have been all planted over 20 years in the past by our predecessors. We have now by no means fertilised them, though we do usually add a layer of mulch or compost on high of the border yearly in autumn.

However you don’t all the time have to make use of fertiliser if you develop daffodils. Many individuals simply depart their daffodils to get on with it. The flowers proceed to come back up yr after yr. So I feel fertilising daffodils might be for many who actually wish to maximise their flowering

A number of growers particularly suggested in opposition to including fertiliser to daffodils in a garden. They mentioned that fertilising daffodils in a garden will feed the grass greater than the daffodils.

Do that you must water daffodils over the winter?

While you plant daffodils, most growers beneficial watering the realm when you’ve lined up them up with soil. However all say that there’s no want for additional watering over the winter.

Nonetheless, as soon as the inexperienced leaves emerge in spring, some websites suggest watering, if the climate is unusually dry. Final spring was very dry right here in South East England. I didn’t water my daffodils, they usually have been high quality, however many tulips got here out a lot shorter and smaller than anticipated.

The bulbs I watered have been all taller and larger than those I didn’t water.

All emphasised that an excessive amount of water could cause daffodils to rot. Daffodils are resilient, straightforward going flowers and can normally keep it up flowering it doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do, however they are going to rot in very damp soil.

The primary after care tip for daffodils

Each single gardening professional I’ve ever come throughout emphasises that you could depart daffodil leaves for round six weeks after the plant has flowered. Even when they’ve began to go slightly yellow, depart them till they’ve died again fully.

The crops want their leaves. They’re making your daffodil flowers for subsequent yr. And by no means tie the leaves up in knots – it was once a trend, but it surely additionally interferes with photosynthesis. Which means you’re stopping the plant from making the absolute best flowers for subsequent yr.

Because the daffodil leaves die again, different crops within the backyard shall be rising, so it shouldn’t look too unhealthy.

Why aren’t my daffodils flowering?

The 2 most important causes are that they’ve been planted too shallow or that they don’t get sufficient solar, in accordance with all of the bulb growers.

And in case you lower the leaves off early final yr, then that may forestall them flowering this yr.

Generally daffodils ‘go blind’ and don’t flower in any respect. There are numerous cures prompt for this, however many gardeners I do know say that they don’t usually work. You’d be higher off digging them up, throwing them away and planting new daffodils.

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Grow daffodils for a brilliant spring garden