I LOVE Daffodils! By the time you are finished reading the blog post, or watching the video, you will be convinced as well, this is a spring bulb you want to have in your garden. There are many things I love about daffodils, a bright and cheerful welcome to spring, easy care, they multiply rapidly, they can live for decades and grow in almost every climate. The best thing about them; they are TOXIC. Unlike other bulbs, like tulips, nothing will eat them. Elk, deer and rabbits won’t eat the foliage; squirrels, chipmunks and gophers won’t eat the bulbs. Not to worry, your dog and cat know not to eat them, and your children should not want to try either.
Daffodils come primarily in shades of yellow, orange, salmon and white. There are over 2,300 different varieties; early, mid, late season, fragrant, miniatures, doubles, butterfly with a variety of petal formations. They can grow in full sun or full shade, with one of their favorite spots being under deciduous trees. By using different varieties and planting them in various exposures I have daffodils blooming from February till May. They also make a beautiful bouquet.
Plant daffodils as soon as you get them. Too often they are purchased and forgotten in the garage. They will thrive in average garden soil. I like to add sand here in Flagstaff, as we have such a high content of clay. This loosens the soil and makes it easier to get water to the roots. Plant 3-6 inches apart, covering the top of the bulb with about 2 inches of soil. I plant them with perennials as they make a great companion plant. They can be naturalized in an area of your yard or planted in large drifts. When planted in a large group, it is fun to plant annuals with them, nasturtiums, cosmos or a wild flower mix is fun. Lettuce or beans is also a good option.
During the winter months, they usually get enough water naturally, but during spring here in the intermountain west, April, May and June, it can become very dry, so give them a good deep watering every 2-3 weeks while they are green. They are storing food for next years flower so care for them after they bloom and never cut the leaves, which will die back naturally and literally, disappear. Don’t worry, they will back again next year, bigger, better and with more blooms every year!