For the best spring blooms, plant your daffodil bulbs in autumn. That way they have plenty of time to settle in and grow strong root systems to support healthy foliage and brilliant, vibrant displays. Here we take a look at how to plant daffodils for maximum wow factor, and present some of our favourite varieties to try.
When should I plant my daffodils?
Plant daffodil bulbs anytime from the beginning of September through to November. In fact, the earlier you plant them, the better your plants will fare. According to Alan Titchmarsh, you can plant your daffodil bulbs as early as August. That’s because a full autumn and winter in the ground gives your bulbs the best chance to bed in and establish a healthy root system before producing vigorous growth in the spring.
How to plant daffodils
Daffodils are very easy to grow in the garden, and also do really well in containers. All you need to do to get your bulbs off to the best start is to prepare the soil, digging it over to break it up, and at the same time, weeding to remove the competition. Next, pop your bulbs in with the tip facing up, to the depth of three times the height of the bulb.
Firm around the bulbs to force out air pockets and then give them a thorough water. Mulching over the winter insulates the bulbs, prevents weed growth, and ensures the soil doesn’t dry out.
Daffodils are a sun-loving plant which thrive in fertile, well-drained soil. Growing daffodils in containers? Pack the bulbs close together and plant them shallower, applying a liquid tomato feed during the growth phase to ensure the best blooms.
Daffodils come in myriad varieties giving you great options for lawns or borders, or for planting among your shrubs and trees. For best effect, plant in drifts or clumps so that the blooms present an enchanting mass of colour.
Which daffodils to grow
There’s a vast number of daffodils to choose from but to narrow things down a little, here are some of our favourites:
- Narcissus pseudonarcissus. If you’re looking for a truly British daffodil to grow, this is it. Quite short and with papery petals and a slender trumpet, this is a native plant and so great for planting in hedges and woodlands. With grey-green leaves and sunny yellow flowers, this is as traditional a daffodil as it’s possible to find.
- Narcissus ‘Trelawney Gold’. For versatile reliability, this Cornish daffodil is as sturdy as they come and its bold, cheerful blooms make it a favourite for spring cut flower displays.
- Narcissus ‘Sagana’. Similar to the traditional Narcissus ‘Pheasant’s Eye’, this daffodil offers bigger, stronger blooms, making it a striking option for borders and containers. Guaranteed to flower in its first year, this is a must for anyone who likes a white daffodil.
- Narcissus ‘Rainbow Butterflies’ Mixed. Ready for something a little alternative? This daffodil features open blooms and, rather than a trumpet, a split cup. It’s a stunning bulb with wonderful colour combinations and yet just as easy to grow as other daffodils.
- Narcissus ‘Peach Cobbler’. For a showy, gorgeous daffodil, this two-tone soft yellow and orange bloom looks great in your borders and makes a delightfully fragrant cut flower for spring vases.
- Narcissus collection. Variety is the spice of life, and with this collection of daffodils, you’re guaranteed a stunning display of spring flowers next season. You get four very popular varieties in packs of 60 or 120 bulbs.
Make sure you plant your daffodils in plenty of time this autumn and look forward to a dazzling burst of sunny blooms next spring. For more advice, visit our spring flowering bulbs hub page.
Rebecca works in the Marketing department as part of the busy web team, focusing on updating the UK news and blog pages and Thompson & Morgan’s international website. Rebecca enjoys gardening and learning about flowers and growing vegetables with her young daughter.