INFORMATION ABOUT DAFFODILS…
Image by Dominic Alves Sunny yellow daffodils welcome spring annually in yards across the United States. It’s no wonder that these happy flowers are so popular, they are easy to plant, inexpensive and require very little maintenance. Once planted, daffodils will multiply quickly filling your garden with sunshine.
All daffodils are of the Narcissus genus and Narcissus is also the scientific name. There are twelve different types, or cultivar classifications, of the flower called daffodil. The most common has large cup-shaped yellow flowers with long petals on stems that are about 18 inches tall. They produce one flower per stem but you can find daffodils that grow several flowers per stem and in many other colors besides yellow, including white, peach, pink, chartreuse, and mixtures such as white with orange or yellow trumpets. Their petals can be smooth, ruffled or even doubled.
Daffodil flowers range in height from a tiny six inches all the way up to two feet tall. Try mixing several heights, colors and varieties for added interest in your garden.
All Jonquils are daffodils but not all daffodils are Jonquils. Jonquils are members of the daffodil and narcissus family. They were the first daffodils brought to the United States by European settlers. They have smaller flowers and usually have several flowers growing per stem.
Daffodils are easy to grow. They do best in full sun but can tolerate a bit of shade. Daffodil bulbs should be planted in the fall for spring bloom.
Plant daffodil bulbs to a depth of twice the size of the bulb being planted. If your bulb is two inches long, it should be planted four inches deep and they need to be approximately six inches away from each other. Daffodils will naturalize and multiply yearly. After a few years you will need to remove some of them to insure they have enough room and to keep them healthy. Overcrowded daffodils will not bloom. Carefully lift them from the ground when their foliage begins to turn yellow. Start a new planting area with the daffodil bulbs you remove.
Daffodil bulbs should be fertilized every spring when the first of their leaves emerge from the ground.
After the daffodil flower has died off, you will need to leave the stem and leaves intact and in the ground until they die off naturally. This nourishes the bulb and allows it to regenerate for next years lovely display.
A word of caution, daffodil bulbs are poisonous and should be handled with care. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after planting or better yet, wear gardening gloves while handling them.
Daffodils can be placed just about anywhere in your yard. They do well in containers, under deciduous trees, in rock gardens, mixed plantings or naturalized throughout your uncut lawn.
Daffodils make wonderful cut flowers for indoor vases and will last about a week after cutting them. If you mix other cut flowers with your daffodils, be sure to change the water daily because the daffodil’s sap is poisonous and will greatly decrease the life of your bouquet.