How to plant, care for and grow Daffodils
|Name derived from||The Greek word narke which means numbness – plants are said to have narcotic properties.|
|Flower Colours||Most are yellow but there are combinations of yellow, white, cream, pink and russet.|
|Predators||Aphids, borer worms, bulb flies, mites and beetles. Field mice may eat the bulbs. Fusarium attacks the base of the bulbs and when they show symptoms (yellowing, browning and curling of outer leaves) they should be discarded.|
The daffodil is a true bulb and its botanical name is Narcissus. There are 50 species and they originated in southern Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa. There have also been cross- breds found in Asian countries such as China and Japan. Daffodils are easy to grow, versatile in the garden and quick to multiply. Daffodils can be showcased in a vase as cut flowers, hydroponically, in a pot, in a woodland setting or in borders – so let your imagination go wild when planting daffodils. Muscari and Ipheion compliment this flower well and could be paired with the daffodil when planting. The lowest temperature this plant can tolerate is -20°C.
In Greek mythology, the daffodil is said to have bloomed in the spot where Narcissus died of heart break after falling in love with his own reflection because he could not hold the object of his desire; giving rise to the word Narcissistic.
Seasons and planting
Daffodils prefer a well-structured loam but they are not too fussy about their soil. When planting, loosen the soil to about 30cm and work in compost and bone meal – if drainage is not good, add sand. Add a mulch of compost to provide shelter after planting. We recommend not planting the flowers in the open lawn as this could hinder their growth. They enjoy cold winters and should be protected from heat during this time.
If you wish, you could grow the plants hydroponically. To create the stunning displays, buy glass bowls and pebbles which will support the bulbs. The bulbs must not touch the water below them at all, they will be encouraged to grow by the cold. Ensure you put the display in a cold and shaded area that could even be dark during root formation in the first few weeks.
After flowering, feed the daffodils Hadeco Bulb Food – the next seasons flowers will be grown during this time. Each new season, the bulbs should increase in quantity if well fed and could become crowded after four to five years. When this occurs, lift and divide the bulbs during January and December – ensure you only separate the bulblets that are easily done so. If lifted, store in a cardboard box or paper bag.
If the leaves have elongated brown markings and appear speckled during mid- growing season, they could be affected by nematodes, immediately discard these plants. Bear in mind that leaves will yellow and fade as dormancy approaches from October onward.