Daffodils are an ideal way to add a splash of colour to your garden in March by planting now.
How to get the best from your daffodils
They are easy to grow and will last for generations as long as you respect a few rules.
- They need to be planted deep as this supports the flower stems and makes them less prone to blowing over in windy weather.
- Allow foliage to turn yellow after flowering as many gardeners are prone to losing patience with the leaves and either chop them off or tie them up into a bunch with string. This prevents them from making enough energy to flower again next year.
- A little feed and water in March will give them the resources they need to fatten up before they go dormant and die down.
When should you plant Daffodils?
Daffodils are best planted before the end of October, two times their own length deep (usually 5 inches) while the ground is still warm. This allows them to root out and establish before the colder weather comes. Be careful not to plant the bulbs the wrong way around. Make sure you plant them with the tip of the bulb facing up and the round bottom facing down!
How should you plant daffodils?
They are best planted in groups. Traditionally you would throw a handful over your shoulder and plant them where they fell. This gives a very natural look, much nicer than being planted in rows. Over time they will establish into large clumps and should be dug up and divided every few years to give them space to grow.
Support Irish Daffodil Growers
Most of our Daffodils are grown and sourced in Ireland from “West Cork Daffodils” based in Bandon. They grow 40 varieties in 68 acres producing 25 tons of bulbs every year. These are lifted, dried and packed into net bags of various sizes. I expect that the freshness of these bulbs and the fact that they are grown in Ireland means that they will settle into your garden much better.
We have selected some of the best tall varieties:
- “Golden Harvest” is a tall yellow trumpet variety that will settle in well if planted in groups to create a drift of yellow similar to William Wordsworth’s poem.
- “Red Devon” has yellow petals at the back of the flower with a bright Orange corona (trumpet in middle). It is very bright looking and would be smashing planted near your house.
- “Golden Ducat” is a double flowered type rather like a pompom of yellow. It grows to 18 inches high and makes a super, cut flower for your home. It looks very unusual and I think I will plant some in my garden this year.
- “Apotheose” is another double flower shaped like a pompom but this one has orange flecks in the centre that stand out really well.
What’s the difference between a Daffodil and Narcissus (Narcissi)?
At one time gardeners divided Daffodils into two types, a daffodil and a Narcissus. To be considered a daffodil the flower had an outer row of petals and a trumpet in the centre, the Narcissi had a more pompom shaped flower and usually a sweet scent. Both types are correctly called Narcissus and are still widely grown by gardeners. They originally came from the Mediterranean region in Spain and North Africa.
The name Narcissi comes from Greek mythology. Narcissus was a very handsome man who was renowned for his beauty but had never seen his own reflection. One day he saw his reflection in water by a stream and fell in love with his own face and apparently pined away gazing at his own image! This started a superstition that is unlucky to see one’s own reflection.
We’re here to help
If you need any help with planting bulbs or choosing the best varieties for your garden talk to any of our horticulturists in store. We’d love to help. It’s always very helpful to bring in some photos of your garden to help us visualise the space you are working with.