Planting Time: Fall
Height: 10" to 18"
Exposure: Full Sun or Light Shade
Soil: Well-Drained, Deep, Fertile
Hardiness: Zones 3-8
Bloom Time: Late Winter/Early Spring
Uses: Naturalizing, Rock Gardens, Forcing, Borders, Cut Flowers.
The origin of the name stems from the Greek legend of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own
reflection in a stream. He stayed transfixed by the stream for so long that the gods thought he
would die of starvation, so they changed him into a beautiful flower, the Narcissus flower, so that
he could stay there forever.
Buy your Narcissus bulbs (also known as Lent Lilies or Daffodils) in September and put them in a
cool (not refrigerated) and airy place. In October, before the ground freezes, plant in a well-drained,
sunny area. Give bulbs at least one month before frost for good root development. If your soil is
clay, dig down at least 12 inches and mix in mushroom compost and/or topsoil. Bulbs will not
survive in heavy waterlogged soil, adding a handful of sharp sand to the hole before planting can
help. When planting your Daffodils, plant pointed side up and at least two times as deep as the
bulb is high (top of a 2" bulb is 4" deep). Exactness isn't crucial; they'll adjust, but it is always
better to plant deeper. Plant bulbs deeper in sandy soil, than in clay. The addition of bone meal
to the soil will help the bulbs set roots before the onset of winter.
After blooming, never cut the foliage until it begins to yellow (usually late May or June). This is
the time to dig them if you decide to move them elsewhere. Daffodils will multiply and stay in the
garden up to 4 years before they need dividing, however if you want to replace or move them,
after digging wash the bulbs thoroughly and let them dry completely (at least a week). Put them
in onion sacks (or panty hose) and hang them in the coolest place you can find until ready to
plant. Good air circulation will keep storage rot at a minimum.
A beautiful sight in spring is naturalized Daffodils sprawling across ones property. Make sure
the area you choose has good drainage and receives some sun during the day. At the edge of
woods or under deciduous trees are good choices, as they will bloom before the trees leaf out.
Make sure the area will not need to be mowed as the Daffodils need to let their foliage mature
and yellow to bloom the next spring. Hillsides are an excellent choice. Always remember to
plant in drifts of alike or similar colours for best effect.