How to Grow Daffodil Flowers

daffodil flowers yellow

by Jennifer Poindexter

Are you in the market for a flower that’s easy to grow, easy to plant, and will add a ton of beauty to your property?

Daffodils could be the flower that’ll check every box of your wish list. With their gorgeous yellow blooms, they’re sure to light up any yard or garden.

Not to mention, they’re a perennial which means they’ll return year after year with limited care from you.

If you’d love a colorful, low-maintenance flower that’ll return every year, give daffodils a try. This is what you should know to grow them well.

Growing Conditions for Daffodils

Daffodils aren’t what gardeners consider a “fussy” flower. They need a few basic conditions to thrive in your yard or garden.

This flower will need full sun. This means the sun should be shining over your daffodils for six to eight hours a day.

If you plant daffodils in partial sun, or where they receive less than six hours of full sun per day, it will hinder their blooms.

It’s wise to plant daffodils where the soil is well-draining. Leaving these flowers in soil that will retain moisture is asking to invite disease to your garden party.

The final growing conditions have more to do with location. Daffodils are hardy in zones seven and below. If you live in zones eight or higher, don’t assume this flower isn’t for you.

In fact, there are many varieties of daffodils. They range from small to large blooms and come in an array of colors such as light orange, orange, yellow, pink, white, and even multi-color.

Some varieties are specifically meant to handle warmer planting zones which means they might still work for gardeners in warmer climates. Check your packaging to ensure you pick the variety that fits your color-scheme and planting zone.

Provide these basic needs of daffodils, and you should have a gorgeous color display beautifying your yard in no time.

How to Plant Daffodils

Daffodils come in bulb form which makes planting them a breeze. Pick a location which meets the specified growing conditions.

Once it’s chosen, work the soil to where it’s ready to receive the bulb. You should plant daffodils in the fall, one month prior to the ground freezing, and while temperatures still hang around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the bulb in the soil with the pointed end facing up towards the sky. It should be planted approximately six inches deep.

Since bulbs come in a variety of sizes, another good rule of thumb to go by is to make the hole three times as deep as the bulb’s height.

For instance, if the bulb is three inches tall, the hole should be nine inches deep.

Cover the bulb with soil and water it heavily. It’s important to note that daffodils can be planted in a variety of formations.

You can plant them in rows to outline a sidewalk or a garden bed. They can be planted in groups of three for a louder splash of color in a chosen location.

Daffodils can also be planted by themselves to provide a pop of color in darker areas of your landscape. The important thing is to make sure there’s a half foot between each bulb. This will avoid the flowers becoming overcrowded too quickly.

Most daffodils will bloom for approximately three months. When purchasing the bulbs, read the packaging. Not only will this tell you about planting zones, but it will also tell you if you have a mixed bag of daffodils.

Sometimes, bulbs will come in packages with multiple varieties to provide a longer blooming schedule. Take all of this into account when planting because this might help you decide if the daffodils should be planted in rows, groups, or by themselves.

Once the bulbs are in the ground, water heavily and apply mulch. This will help to avoid weeds and ensure the moisture is retained properly.

Planting daffodils is a simple process which makes it all the more amazing how much beauty this type of flower can add to an area.

Caring for Daffodils

Once established, daffodils don’t require a great deal of care. As mentioned above, they should be watered during planting.

After planting, ensure they’re watered when blooming during the spring. Usually the rain will take care of it, but in times of drought make sure the flowers receive adequate moisture from planting through their bloom cycle.

It’s a good idea to make sure the daffodils receive an inch of water per week for the first three weeks after planting to help the root system become established.

As the daffodils stop blooming, allow the foliage to die off. After this occurs, stop watering to avoid the bulbs rotting in the ground.

After you get a handle on the watering schedule for daffodils, it’s time to discuss fertilizing. They do require fertilizer but not until they’re producing flowers.

When the daffodils have begun producing flowers, fertilize one time every three months until the plants fall dormant.

The next item daffodils need is deadheading. When the flowers are producing blooms, remove the dead blooms because it allows the energy to go back into the bulb. This will help the overall health and longevity of the daffodil.

One important note on caring for daffodils is to ensure you never cut the foliage back on the plant when it’s withering for the winter.

The reason being is, by allowing the plant to die-back naturally, it allows the plant to go through the entire process of photosynthesis which is vital for the plant’s survival.

Finally, when the daffodils have died back naturally, are in full sun, but aren’t blooming, this is a message it’s time to divide them.

Ensure you mark where your plants are while in bloom, so it’ll make it easier to return to them when they’ve gone dormant.

Dig up the plants and divide the bulbs. Some bulbs will be large while others will be smaller. Choose the larger bulbs for transplant.

Plant them a half foot, or greater, apart in a chosen location which still meets all the growing condition requirements stated above. When transplanting, follow the same steps provided in the planting portion of this article.

Once divided, your plants should all require the same care until they need to be split again. Daffodils provide a great deal of beauty for the money and time invested in them.

Garden Pests and Diseases for Daffodils

There aren’t many pests and diseases gardeners need to be aware of when raising daffodils. The most common issues are fungus, bulb flies, bulb mites, and slugs.

Fungus or rot will need to be treated with a fungicide, but you should also check to ensure the soil surrounding the daffodils are well-draining. Also, ensure there’s enough air flow around the plants. They may need to be divided.

Bulb flies can be treated using an insecticide. Bulb mites on the other hand are a little trickier to treat. If you suspect you have bulb mites attacking your plants from beneath the soil, dig the plants up.

The bulbs and plants should be placed in warm (not boiling) water. Hold them there for approximately 30 minutes. This should sanitize the bulbs, kill any mites, and give your plant a shot at survival.

Plant your daffodils again after they’ve been treated for bulb mites. Slugs can usually be hand-picked, but if you’d like to avoid this, place diatomaceous earth or coffee grounds beneath your daffodils.

The caffeine will deter slugs, and the DE will create a dangerous landscape for the slugs to crawl over.

On a positive note, daffodils are known for being disliked by deer and rodents. Be mindful that they can be toxic to your pets, and you should also use great care when handling daffodils because they produce sap which can cause skin irritations.

Daffodils are gorgeous flowers. They make your home look brighter, even on the dreariest of days. They’re easy to care for, easy to plant, and have few enemies.

If you need something simple to grow around your home, consider adding daffodils to your landscape. 

Learn More About Daffodil Flowers

https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g6610

https://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/yard-and-garden-caring-daffodils

https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/bulbs

spring daffodils with text overlay how to grow daffodils

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