I do have to admit that daffodils have become somewhat of an obsession…
I absolutely love these cheerful flowers, and over the years have planted hundreds of thousands of the narcissus bulbs. When it comes to daffodils, I have a tendency to go overboard, and for very good reason. These bright yellow beauties really inspire me since not many flowers are as resilient as daffodils are.
The daffodil is a really optimistic flower.
Since it helps to break through that late winter gloom, we turn our thoughts to the longer, warmer days that are on their way.
Narcissus pseudonarcissus, the true daffodil, was commonplace in our woodlands at one time. It is much scarcer out in the wild now, that we have to grow the varied and many relatives inside of our gardens. They are among the least fussy of all plants and grow in both the shade and sunshine. Among the earliest (but not in February always) is ‘February Gold’ and with the season stretching to the ‘Pheasant Eye’ narcissus during late April and later.
My parents came to England during the 1930s and were bulb-growers. They were stranded by war, and they moved into Lincolnshire’s well-named South Holland district where they joined numerous small-scale commercial nurseries and found the fertile flat soil was perfect for growing bulbs. As a girl, I worked in their nursery and was basically drip-fed knowledge that I didn’t even realize that I was learning so much. During World War II many of the old varieties were lost, and daffodil growers had to plow up their fields in order to grow food. However, enough survived to allow us to track them down so that we could offer them along with new introductions. ‘Thalia,’ a multi-head white that dates from 1916, and ‘Mary Copeland,’ a red and white double that was bred in 1913, are two of my favorites.
My great love of daffodils really comes down to them being so long-lasting.
When you have the right daffodils, it can provide you with color for many months. I recommend fragrant and dwarf varieties in tubs and pots near the house, and larger varieties in your borders. Daffodils may be naturalized in lawns as well. They should not be cut back after they have flowered, and their leaves should not be tied in knots. Allow them to naturally die down, ideally for about eight weeks. After the plant has flowered it can do is work so that the energy can be returned to the bulb.
Daffodil bulbs are perennials so the should continue producing flowers for many years, but I get lots of questions regarding why they do not.
Today I’ll close with the five most common reasons why daffodils do not re-bloom and things that you can do to be able to enjoy these beautiful flowers for many years to come. Enjoy!
1. They have been planted in the shade. You need to plant your daffodils in the sun. Although they are able to take some partial shade, they do prefer full sun. If they are planted in the sun, then they probably won’t come back the following year.
2. Daffodil clumps over time can become too congested. They must be divided and separated. Depending on what variety they are, divide and separate them about every three to five years to get continuous blooming.
3. The foliage was cut back too soon. Allow the foliage to last as long as possible. If you need to cut it back, allow the blooms to fade and then in six weeks, the foliage can be cut back, and it won’t prevent your daffodils from blooming the following year. The plant is re-energized to return the following year.
4. They are hungry. At the start of the daffodil season, as they are starting to bloom, spring some granular fertilizer around the plants. Feed its foliage and allow it to last as long as possible and naturally die back.
5. The soil conditions are not quite right. Moisture is needed by daffodils, but don’t plant them in a location where they will be sitting in wet, soggy soil all winter.