There’s nothing quite like a bright yellow daffodil on a warm spring day. As the birth month flower for May, these cheery flowers have a lot of meaning behind them, including rebirth, hope and resilience.
To experience the simple joy of waking up to daffodils in your garden, there are a few steps to take to ensure these iconic blooms have everything they need. If you’ve been looking for some tips on how to choose daffodil bulbs, where to plant them and how to care for your daffodil flowers, this is the article for you.
How to Buy Daffodil Bulbs
There are a few things to look out for when buying bulbs for your new daffodil flower bed. When choosing which bulbs to buy, size matters. The bigger the bulb, the bigger the flower; but a bigger flower is not always best! If the flower is too big, it can be too heavy for its stem and it can sag towards the ground. So when you’re sorting through bulbs, choose one in the mid-range.
Another factor is the weight of the bulb. Pick up a few bulbs to get a sense of what the average weight is, and avoid choosing a bulb that’s too light. It can often mean that it’s too dehydrated to grow the way it should.
Lastly, make sure that the flakey jacket around the bulb is intact. This outer layer, similar to what you find on an onion, is what keeps the bulb moist and ready for the earth.
How to Grow Daffodil Bulbs
When to Plant Daffodil Bulbs
The best time to plant daffodils is in the autumn when the ground has had some time to cool down but there’s been enough moisture that it is easy to work with.
Where to Plant Daffodil Bulbs
Daffodils thrive in the sunshine, so make sure that you plant them somewhere that they’ll receive ample sunlight. They can handle a little bit of shade, but not too much, so avoid planting them in the shadow of your garden shed or the shade of a big tree. Make sure the spot you choose has good drainage and is easily accessible so that you can keep the soil moist for the growing months.
How to Plant Daffodil Bulbs
Once you’ve picked your spot, place the bulb at the base of a hole with the smaller side pointing upwards. If you’ve got a few to plant, it’s best to dig a trench and to line them up alongside one another, about 5cm apart. Once you’ve covered them sufficiently with soil, give them a good watering and sit back and wait for the spring. If you have a particularly dry winter, it’s a good idea to check on your daffodils because it’s imperative that the soil stays moist.
How deep to plant daffodils bulbs
A rule of thumb when planting daffodils is to plant them twice as deep as they are tall. So dig a hole deep enough that it could fit three of your bulbs on top of one another and place it at the bottom.
How many daffodil bulbs should I plant together?
While this is completely up to you, daffodils look really lovely when they grow in a large group. We recommend planting them in groups of 15 or more.
Should I soak daffodil bulbs before planting?
There’s no need to soak daffodil bulbs before planting. Soaking them just helps them to sprout faster but most gardeners consider it an unnecessary step in the process.
How to Care for Daffodils
Daffodils are some of the easiest plants to care for once you’ve managed to get them to flower. There’s no need to deadhead them and they don’t need too much water, so all in all, they aren’t very demanding plants to have. When they’re good, they’re great. It’s only when they start coming up blind that you need to worry! The main maintenance that comes with daffodils is to ensure that they don’t become too overcrowded.
When do daffodils bloom?
Daffodils bloom in spring. They are considered to be one of the signs that spring is in full force!
Can you leave daffodil bulbs in the ground all year?
Absolutely! Daffodils are perennials which means they bloom once a year and can be left in the ground all year round. Even though the flowers die, the leaves retain nutrients through the colder months.
How many years do daffodil bulbs last?
Daffodil bulbs can last up to 12 months before they need to be planted as long as they’re stored correctly.
Should I deadhead daffodils?
There’s no need to deadhead daffodils unless you’re doing it for aesthetic reasons. The plants don’t benefit from deadheading, but if you’re looking to neaten them up, it won’t hurt.
Do daffodils multiply?
Yes! Daffodils multiply in two ways – through bulb divisions and through seeds. With bulb division, you’ll get two identical flowers, but with seeds, you’ll see a new hybrid growing instead.
Why do daffodils go blind?
Daffodil blindness refers to daffodils that come up without flowering heads. It can be really disappointing if you’ve waited all winter to see your bulbs flower, and they come up with nothing but green leaves. Daffodils can be blind for a number of reasons but the most common is not planting them deep enough. Make sure your bulbs have enough room to do all the growing they need to get done under the soil. Diseases can also be a reason for blind daffodils, but this is less common.
What animal would dig up daffodil bulbs?
Your most likely culprit is probably a squirrel or a vole. While they don’t actually eat the bulbs which are toxic and foul-tasting, they have been known to dig up daffodil beds all the same. Squirrels and voles are a nightmare for gardeners and a difficult challenge to solve although there are a few ways to guard against the critters. Whether you opt for a barrier or a repellent method will depend on the type of garden you have, and how much you feel for the mini thieves rifling through your soil.
Why didn’t my daffodils bloom this year?
The most likely reason that your daffodils didn’t bloom like they’ve done in years past is that they’ve become overcrowded. If there are too many daffodils in your bed they’ll start to come up blind. To avoid this happening, divide and replant your daffodils to give them enough room to bloom.
How to store daffodil bulbs
It’s best to store daffodil bulbs in a cool dry place inside a mesh bag or nylon stocking so that they can breathe. If you’re pulling a bulb out of your own garden, make sure to brush all the soil off before you store. This will ensure that the bulb doesn’t have the opportunity to grow mould.
Bright and beautiful, daffodils are like the sunshine of the flower world. Plant them right once, and they’ll keep coming back to brighten up your garden.