Basic Questions / 12 Points for Success

The following questions are typical of those asked by gardening clubs and horticultural societies:

What is the difference between a daffodil and a narcissus?

None. Narcissus is the Botanical name, and daffodil the English one.

Then what about jonquils?

Jonquils are only one part of the family, descended from the species N.
jonquilla group.

How many kinds of daffodils are there?

Botanists differ; some say about 40 species, but including sub-species,
maybe closer to 200. There are over 27,000 registered hybrids.

Will squirrels or rodents eat the bulbs?

No. Deer won’t eat them either but squirrels will dig them up.

Are bulbs expensive?

They come in a wide price range, from around £1 to close to
£100 for the newest and rarest. There are many prize-winning exhibition
daffodils priced around £2.50. Bulbs for garden display or naturalizing
can be had for much less.

How long will they last?

The bulbs will probably outlive most of us, with care.

How long is the blooming season?

Depending on where you live, from 6 to 10 weeks.

Are they hard to grow?

No. “Dig a hole and drop them in” about covers it, but keep the pointed
end up. They are not particular about soil types. Plant 6”- 8” deep and
where they get at least half a days of sun. The rate of increase will
be slower with deeper planting. Water well after planting. Broadcast a
low nitrogen fertilizer over the planting in early spring and autumn.
Avoid manure, which may cause basal rot. Whilst they like moisture when
they’re growing, avoid planting where the soil stays constantly wet. Never
braid, tie or remove the foliage until it begins to turn yellow. When
they’re settled, the bulbs will increase and multiply over time. Visit
a local flower show to see which bulbs do well in your area; then make
your choice and then order from reputable mail order sources. If you buy
locally, or receive gift bulbs, make sure they are firm and smooth. Never
plant a soft bulb. Small bulbs will eventually grow up to flowering size.
Label your bulbs, and keep a plan so you will know the names of the flowers
as they bloom.

Will they grow under ground cover?

They will grow under shallow-rooted ground cover, that require no additional
summer water.

Will they grow in all areas of the country?


What are miniature daffodils?

For show purposes and for guidance in gardening, certain cultivars have
been designated by the THE DAFFODIL SOCIETY as miniatures, which are up
to 50mm diameter.

How can I learn more about daffodils?

Join a local horticultural society and/or THE DAFFODIL SOCIETY.
The local society will provide information on its conditions, and THE DAFFODIL
SOCIETIES Journal and Newsletter will provide information about showing,
new hybrids, and growing around the world. Enter a local show, which is
a good way to meet other daffodils enthusiasts

12 Points for Successful Daffodil growing.

1. Never cut foliage from the bulbs. Pull off yellowing foliage at AROUND about 6-8 weeks after the flowers have faded.

2. Remove all dead flowers by nipping off at the neck, behind the seedpod.

3. Keep the soil surface around the foliage well hoed to prevent the entry of Narcissus Fly.

4. Remove and burn any bulbs whose foliage show sign of disease.

5. After flowering keep bulbs watered and feed once a week with a high potash fertilizer until the leaves die back.

6. Lift and divide overcrowded clumps in late June or July.

7. Keep lifted bulbs stored in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place, until ready for re-planting.

8. Before storing and planting remove and burn any bulbs that are soft or spongy to touch.

9. Don’t plant bulbs in ground that is likely to become waterlogged.

10. Try to have bulbs planted by October.

11. Bulbs grown in pots should be “Plunged” (covered with soil and/or peat) to a minimum depth of 2” to 4” depending on the weather conditions in your area, for 16 to 18 weeks.

12. Spray daffodil foliage at least twice during the growing season with a recommended systemic fungicide.