Daffodils (Spring Narcissus)
By: Brent and Becky
Greek mythology tells the story of the hunter Narcissus, whose beauty was only outmatched by his vanity. Narcissus was completely infatuated with himself until he fell in love with his reflection. He was so fascinated by his beautiful reflection, that he wasted away staring at it until he died. The myth then says that the gods turned him into a narcissus flower. These flowers do more than living up to their namesake: they are bold, elegant, and beautiful, and they certainly seem to know it.
Narcissus are often the first blooms of spring, thriving in USDA zones 3 - 9. They are long-lived flowers that are easy to grow. They're also naturally pest-resistant, helping you keep your garden a little less chemical and more worry-free.
A Flower by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet:
With over 25,000 varieties, the naming system for flowers can seem overwhelming. The terms "Narcissus" and "Daffodil" are interchangeable. Daffodil is simply the common name, or nickname, used to refer to the scientific genus of Narcissus. Jonquils are a specific subcategory of the Narcissus genus that are more tolerant of warmer and more humid Southern climates which explains why most Southerners call them "jonquils". But in the end, they’re all just Daffodils.
The Down-and-Dirty Basics:
Despite all the variations, most types of Daffodils follow the same planting and care essentials. They are spring-blooming bulbs that enjoy full or partial sun while blooming, with semi-regular watering.
Typically, bulbs should be planted in the Fall just around the timing of your first hard frost. Planning and choosing your daffodils is easy and we have an easy way to pick out your daffodil garden here! The investment is always worth it.
You’ll have the most success with your Daffodils if they are planted in soil enriched with compost. Daffodils also tend to like well-draining soil, so if you have a hard time with drainage, try adding a bit of sand to your soil.
Matchmaker: Picking the Varieties for You
As such an attractive flower, the Daffodil has many variations available on the market for you to choose from. Our online store boasts nearly 200 options alone! These varieties offer different blooms of all colors, shapes, and blooming times. Planning your garden lets you play with all these choices to create something perfect for you!
Looking best in groups, Daffodils will perform exceptionally well in a traditional bed. Other popular options include planting them scattered through grasses for a natural look or even in containers. A mixed bulb garden with multiple types of Daffodils will also let you play with varieties of blooms with different colors, bold foliage, and staggered blooming times, to get the most out of these enthusiastic spring flowers.
Expert AdviceWith so many choices of varieties, how can you even start choosing which ones are for you? Well, it depends on what you want! If you’re looking for something classic, varieties like Dutch Master and Accent give you a classic shape and a dependable, hardy bloom. Large and showy varieties, like Marieke or Tahiti, aim to impress, while other varieties, like Sun Disc, have much daintier petals. If you’re looking for an abundance of flowers, varieties like Avalanche or Cheerfulness have cascades of blooms. And if you’re looking for a garden that smells sweet, almost any variety of “Jonquils" will offer fragrant blossoms. If you can’t decide or want some help getting a mix of flowers that compliment each other in aesthetic and blooming time, there is a “Brent and Becky’s Favourites” mixed package with iconic varieties of bulbs pre-selected for you.
Daffodils are simple flowers to grow, so troubleshooting is also very easy. If spring rolls around and you’re not seeing blooms from your bulbs, you could be experiencing "Daffodil Blindness." This overabundance of foliage can come from many things. The regular culprits are a lack of sunlight or a lack of nutrients.
As tempting as it may be, try not to trim spent foliage from your plants after blooming. The foliage, as long as it is green, is still utilizing photosynthesis to feed the bulb for next year's bloom. Once the foliage begins to yellow, it is time to cut it back.
If you live in an area that doesn’t get cold enough winters (zones 9 or 10), you can still get Daffodils in the spring! By purchasing some pre-cooled bulbs, you will receive bulbs that have had an artificial winter and are ready to bloom as an annual.
Daffodils contain some chemicals and enzymes that are toxic. This is superb at keeping pests away from them. And even though they are poisonous to people and pets, you’d have to ingest a good portion of a bulb to get sick, and due to their extremely bitter taste, we doubt you'd get that far into your snack. While the cut flowers are gorgeous, they will quickly wilt any other flowers they share a vase with.
Daffodils are not only beautiful, they are the ultimate low maintenance addition to your Spring garden. A little compost every Fall, full sun, dry feet in the Summer, and you'll enjoy these perennially for years and years!
View our selection of daffodils:
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