Is it really Spring without Daffodils? Will the seasons even progress without these delightful yellow trumpets? I think not! Daffodils are one of the most beautiful and reliable Perennial Spring flowering Bulbs, showing up year after year with very little upkeep required. Here is how I grow and care for mine…
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Daffodils (Narcissus) are an ancient flower with a history as far back as 300 BC, this delightful flower has graced gardens for millenia! A Greek scholar, botanist, biologist, and physicist by the name of Theophrastus described and listed the unusual flowers in his nine volume botanical treatises ‘Enquiry into Plants’. The Name ‘Narcissus’ came from a Story in Greek Mythology…
Daffodils in Greek Mythology
In Greek mythology it is said the Narcissus flower was named after the handsome youth Narcissus, who was tricked into falling in love with his own reflection. Narcissus was the son of the River God Cephissus and the nymph Liriope. He was an incredibly beautiful young man but belittled those who loved him. A mountain nymph called Echo, fell in love With Narcissus but her advances were cruelly rejected and she was left Heartbroken. She spent the rest of her days roaming the woods until nothing was left but the sound of her voice (an echo)
Nemesis, the Goddess of Revenge heard of the poor Mountain Nymphs plight and decided to punish Narcissus for his cruelty, she lured him to the water’s edge and encouraged him to look at his reflection, under a spell and unable to break his gaze from his perfect reflection, he fell in love with it. When His Love was not reciprocated, he couldn’t bear to leave it! And so, his vanity consumed him, his body grew weak from exhaustion and he fell in to the river and drowned.
Soon after, Daffodils (Narcissus) began to grow on the banks of the River where Narcissus perished, bobbing and bowing their heads at their reflection in the water, still unable to look away.
- Due to their arrival in Spring they can represent new beginnings and Re-birth
- They can also represent creativity, inspiration, inner-reflection, forgiveness, and vitality.
- In the UK Daffodils are also sometimes called Lent Lilies as they tend to flower between Ash Wednesday and Easter
- Thanks to the story of Narcissus above, they are also said to represent vanity and unrequited love.
The Great Thing About Daffodils!
- Such and adaptable flower! Happy to grow in Pots, Borders and grassy areas
- They come in a huge range of colours adding a cheery pop of colour to your Spring Garden
- All Shapes and Sizes ranging from 5cm -80cm tall adding height and interest with their trumpet like flowers
- Easy To grow! Even a beginner gardener can grow Daffodils!
Daffodils have a single flower on a long slender green stalk, with green leaves growing upright and outwards from the base of the stem. The flowers may have yellow or white petals surrounding a trumpet-like centre.
Daffodils and Fruit Trees
Top Tip-Plant daffodils near Fruit trees to attract early season pollinators, dotting Daffodils around the base of a fruit tree can improve fruit tree pollination for a more abundant fruit crop later in the season.
How To Grow Daffodils
The Optimum time to Plant your Daffodil bulbs is in Autumn around September – November. (Should you miss the deadline, don’t fret! I have planted Daffodils as late as January with good results.) This gives the Daffodil bulbs time to develop a healthy root system before temperatures drop- which in turn enables them to put on new growth as soon as temperatures rise again the following Spring.
How To Plant Daffodil Bulbs
Buy Daffodil Bulbs
To Plant Daffodil Bulbs-Plant at twice the depth of the bulb and around 4-5 inches apart. Smaller Daffodil varieties can be planted a little closer together.
Where To Plant Daffodil Bulbs
You can pop them in pots like I Have or in the ground. They like a full sun position but will tolerate light shade. Plant them in a moist soil with good drainage.
What Should You Do With Daffodils After They Bloom ?
When Daffodil flowers begin to fade snip them off but leave the foliage intact. Why do you leave the foliage on the plant ? It’s important to leave the foliage on the plant as long as possible, because as the foliage begins to die it feeds the Daffodil Bulb. Through photosynthesis, the daffodil leaves capture the sun’s rays and convert it into energy. That energy is then stored within the bulb to help propel the following season’s growth. If you cut back the daffodil foliage too early you will negatively affect the following years blooms.
*Only cut back the foliage when it has completely died off, then simply cut the foliage to the ground.
Ongoing Daffodil Care
Daffodils aren’t overly fussy! They are a pretty maintenance free plant, popping up year after year with minimal interference. The only advice I would give, is to divide them every 4-5 years
What’s the first sign that Daffodils need to be divided? – When the foliage appears to be too dense and the amount of blooms decrease
How To Divide daffodil Bulbs– Dividing should be done in early Autumn. As soon as the foliage turns brown, loosen the soil around the base of your Daffodil plants with a fork. Gently pull out the Bulbs, lay them out in a sheltered dry environment for 1-2 weeks. Once the bulbs are dry they will be easy to separate. Pull them apart, cut off the foliage, 1 inch above the bulb and replant them in the ground.