What you should know about Daffodils
The first thing you should
know about daffodils is that it’s smart to choose the
ones you want while they’re still in bloom in
the spring. If you miss the boat this spring, your best
bet is to read carefully the descriptions in next fall’s
seed and nursery catalogs.
The second thing you need
to know is something about the various classes of daffodils
you’ll find listed or on display. Daffodil is the English
name for the narcissus. There are many flower shapes
and combinations and many variations of the two main
daffodil colors-white and yellow. A few new, and still
expensive, introductions show light salmon-pink tints
in their petals, and many have red in their cups.
Daffodil beauty cannot
be gauged by price. Price is determined by the amount
of stock available to satisfy the demand. Some varieties
produce new bulbs more prolifically than others and
so move more rapidly from collector’s items to the general
Each daffodil flower has
a central part known as an eye, crown, or trumpet, and
an outer part called the perianth, which consists of
six parts. It is the variation in the proportions and
colors of these principal parts that determine the classes.
Buy what you can. Order
from a reputable dealer and specify late-summer delivery.
Plant your bulbs as soon as received. Spring-flowering
bulbs bloom so early in the season they don’t have time
to develop their root structure first. In order to give
the roots time to develop fully before winter they should
be planted in the early fall, preferably six weeks before
freezing weather, but you can plant them safely even
as late as December.
Spade the soil and thoroughly
pulverize it. Lumpy soil may result in uneven height
of stems and blooms. Avoid poorly drained spots. Bulbs
will rot if they are not freely drained. Mix balanced
plant food thoroughly and deeply into the soil.
A spring application of
balanced plant food (1 tablespoon to a gallon of water)
given just as buds are forming will increase the size
of the flowers. Be sure solution is washed into soil
by thorough watering. Leave them alone until the clumps
are really crowded. Or you can lift them, every second
or third year, after blooming time, divide the bulbs,
and replant. Daffodil bulbs are winter hardy. You can
start with just a few expensive ones; then when you
dig and divide your original clumps, the small bulbs
will soon grow to flowering size.
Spring flowering bulbs such as Alliums, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Scilla and the ever popular Tulip are available NOW. Backyardgardener provides the highest quality bulb in the world. Our vendors ship to the USA and UK, so don’t be shy if you think the Atlantic Ocean will hinder your order.