When is the best time to plant daffodils

Autumn is the time when the spring bulbs fill our garden centres, and for daffodils it is best to get them in the ground as soon as possible. Unlike tulips that can be planted as late as December, daffodils benefit from planting in September. That way the bulbs are still firm, fresh, and haven’t dried out. But also the warmth in the soil, coupled with moisture from early autumn rain, gives them a head start with root formation and allows the flower buds to continue their development without delay inside the bulb.

What’s the best place to grow daffodils

We all adore daffodils for their year after year reliability. They are easy to grow and provide a show almost anywhere. You can plant in pots, borders, in grass and some varieties (paper whites) can be forced into flower indoors to cheer the dark winter days. Outdoors, full sun is ideal, but part shade is acceptable along with a well-drained soil: the bulbs are liable to rot in waterlogged conditions.

How deep should I plant daffodils

If you are planting a temporary display to last one season, then depth is not that vital – about 10cm deep is fine for larger bulbs. But for a show that will go on from year to year it is crucial to plant them deeper. Tis means that when they die down for the summer, the bulbs won’t dry out in the heat or dry soil close to the surface. Put them in at least three times as deep as the height of the bulb. You can plant your daffodils as close as 5cm apart.

If the bulbs are left in place from year to year they will bulk up and give you the chance to lift and divide after flowering. The dwarf varieties of daffodils are perfect for pots.

Which are the best daffodils for spring

There are hundreds of daffodils to choose from. Take your pick from the classic yellow trumpets, double forms, bicolours and miniatures. Daffodils and narcissus are one of the same things. Daffodil is simply the common name for all plants within the genus narcissus.

Although generally considered as spring plants, some flower in late winter, their cheerful blooms opening in February, while others don’t appear till June! Plant them in layers of different varieties to create a long-season display.

One of my favourites is the early Narcissus ‘February Gold’ which always performs well with ‘traditional’ golden trumpets. For small pots, the front of the a border or rockeries then N. ‘Tête-a-Tête’ really takes some beating and there are few mini daffs with such flower power.

N. ‘Jetfire’ is another great miniature variety with a dark orange-red trumpet surrounded by yellow petals, but I’ve also planted plenty of the variety N. ‘Thalia’ over the years as I really love its ivory flowers in March. And to finish off the daffodil season with a flourish, try Narcissus poeticus recurvus with its teeny trumpets and broad, swept-back white petals.

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