Daffodils

Daffodils are something we strongly associate with the coming of Spring in the UK and their golden hosts are a happy sign that warmer weather is on the way. Daffodils are perfect for bringing some early spring colour to your garden and can brighten up shady areas of grass under deciduous trees, since bulbs like daffodils will flower before the leaves return to the tree to cast shade.

Growing daffodils:

Daffodils are extremely easy to grow. The bulbs can be planted almost anywhere and are likely to thrive and reproduce themselves for years to come. There are a great variety of daffodils available, broadly categorised into 13 divisions based on their shape and various other characteristics. Some will be better for naturalising in grass while others will be better for their fragrance or colouration.

Daffodil bulbs should be planted in autumn and will flower early the following spring. You should select the best and highest quality bulbs to plant, ones that have not dried out. The ideal time to plant daffodils is in September or early October.

As a rough guide, bulbs should be planted at a depth of around double or triple the length of the bulb from root to tip. The more bulbs you are able to plant together the more impressive your display will be, though do not crowd daffodils too much, especially if you are growing them in pots. A good rule of thumb is to plant bulbs at least approximately twice the bulb's width apart. Make sure you plant bulbs with the pointy shoot end facing upwards.

Daffodils are pretty robust but can be damaged by slugs or snails, viruses or waterlogging, which can cause the bulb to rot. Occasionally bulbs produce plants which do not flower. This is known as daffodil blindness and can be caused by their growing conditions, disease or pests. Sometimes it can happen to clumps of daffodils that have been there for a few years simply due to overcrowding or a lack of soil fertility if nothing has been added to the soil.

Daffodils should be left to die back naturally and left, ideally, for six weeks or so after they stop flowering in an area that is to be mown. The foliage in beds is not particularly attractive as it dies back, but if you pair the daffodils with a perennial that will take over the hide the daffodils as they die back each year then you need never have an unsightly section in your garden.

Why grow daffodils in the garden?

Daffodils will grow where many other flowers will not and can bring an early splash of colour to the garden. They are good for bees and other beneficial insects which come out early in the year, being one of the first garden flowers to bloom.

Daffodils are delightful as cut flowers and some varieties have a lovely fragrance.

As one of the easiest flowers to grow in your garden, daffodils take little effort and can reward you with their cheerful appearance year after year. 

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Narcissus