Blog Post: Daffodils

I love daffodils!  Every spring, regardless of the weather they make a spectacular appearance bringing joy to everyone.  Their bright yellow blooms herald the end, maybe, of winter. 

Daffodils are definitely the bulb of choice for the Intermountain West.  As much as I love tulips, the leaves and flowers are a salad for Elk, Deer and Rabbits and the bulbs are a nice treat for Gophers, Squirrels and Chipmunks.  Tulips like high humidity, good soil and water, which is scarce in the West.    Daffodils, on the other hand are TOXIC!  Nothing will eat them; animals instinctively know to stay away.  This includes your cat and dog.  This is the reason you can’t mix daffodils in a bouquet, as they are toxic to other flowers as well. 

Did you know there are 2,300 types of daffodils?  Big ones, small ones, even miniature, double, two tone and fragrant, and a beautiful butterfly type.  They are all in the white, yellow, orange and pink-salmon color range.   They can be planted in any exposure, from full sun to full shade.  By planting them in various places around your yard, and using early, mid-season and late blooming varieties you can have daffodils from February till May! 

They need very little care, a good deep watering before and after they bloom and if the weather is dry, with no moisture, maybe once in April and again May.    Never cut the leaves, as they are feeding the bulb for next years flower.   The leaves die back in early summer naturally and literally disappear. 

Plant them with about 2 inches of soil covering the top.  This is shallower than is usually recommended, but in the West, the soil is not that great, and its cold down there!  Plus, they get more water if they are closer to the surface.  I like to add some sand to the soil before I plant them. 

You can plant them any time of the year.  If the bulbs are dormant, they will remain so until the cold winter triggers them to start growing.  I often move mine right after they bloom.  This enables me to see where they are now and not run a shovel through the middle of a dormant clump, which I am sorry to say, I have done more than once.   I am able to see where all the other daffodils are and where I might have room to add another little treasure.  I put one daffodil bulb, or a cluster of them between all my perennials. 

There is much more I could say about daffodils, and I did say everything I know in my short eBook, Growing and Selling Daffodils, available on amazon for .99.

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