Spring blooming bulbs are the colorful messengers that spring has finally arrived. But for me, it is the wonderful daffodils with their bright yellow "trumpets" that truly signal the coming of the new spring season.
The great thing about daffodils is that they are available in a tremendous diversity of colors, forms, and sizes. According to the American Daffodil Society, there are over 25,000 registered cultivars of daffodils! Choosing which bulbs you want to grow may be the hardest part of growing them! Watch a video clip of some of the different types of daffodils. The Viette's have done extensive testing and have compiled a list of some of the best cultivars for naturalizing in the garden.
Daffodils are among the easiest of all plants to grow. They are reliable bloomers year after year if provided with sun, good drainage, and a little food every year. Planting daffodils in the fall is a great project for "little gardeners" because they are not only easy to grow but they make wonderful long-lasting cut flowers for the first colorful bouquets of spring!
Watch a video tip on the best way to cut daffodils for long-lasting indoor arrangements
Plant daffodil bulbs in mid to late fall. They grow and flower best in full sun but they will also do fine in bright shade. Good drainage is important so amend the soil with organic matter like peat moss or compost before planting. Plant daffodil bulbs at a depth that measures about 3 times their height. Mix about 2 teaspoons of Espoma Bulb-tone with the soil at the bottom of the planting hole, drop the bulb in (pointy side up), and cover with soil. That's all there is to it!
Watch Mark's video tip on planting spring bulbs in the garden.
In the spring after they finish blooming, top dress the bulb bed with Bulb-tone according to the label directions.
DO NOT cut, tie, or braid the daffodil foliage after blooming as this restricts photosynthesis and robs the bulb of the nutrients needed for the following season's bloom. Wait six weeks (after bloom) for the foliage to ripen before cutting it back. Once the majority of the foliage turns brown, you can carefully pull it off or cut it back.
Watch Mark's video tip on when it is safe to remove daffodil foliage.
Daffodil bulbs and leaves are toxic to deer, voles, squirrels, and rabbits so they are rarely bothered by these furry critters! In fact, some gardeners have found that planting daffodils among perennials that are susceptible to deer browsing, actually discourages them from eating these plants at least while the foliage is up!