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Planting Daffodils/ Narcissus Bulbs – Everything You Need To Know


Planting daffodils/ narcissus bulbs comes with a lot of benefits. They add visual interest to your yard, are easy to grow, and come back every year, so you don’t have to plant them again. Plus, you get that beautiful burst of colour in the spring. It’s this last part that some may find tricky. How do you plant daffodil bulbs, after all?

These common garden plants are best planted from bulbs rather than seeds because they won’t sprout again for years. Read on to learn more about planting daffodil/ narcissus bulbs, including how to plant them correctly and where they grow best…

When and Where Should I Plant my Daffodil / Narcissus Bulbs?

Daffodils/ Narcissus will grow in almost any soil type but prefer a sunny spot in fertile, well-drained soil. Some varieties will cope with light shade, but none can survive waterlogged soil and deep shade. If you are not sure about the level of shade in your garden, check out our plants for shaded gardens guide to learn more. It is best to plant daffodil/ narcissus bulbs in the ground in early autumn. But for pot grown daffodils, you can plant these in spring.

How to plant Daffodils/ Narcissus

Once the perfect spot has been found, dig holes in the flower bed that are three times the size of the bulb itself, and place the bulbs in the holes with the pointy end facing upwards. Make sure to space your bulbs 15-20cm apart. As with many bulbs, you can add potash feed to enhance growth and strength, encouraging the bulbs to flower year after year.

Once you have planted your bulbs, water the soil to compact around the bulb; this will remove any unwanted air pockets. Your daffodils will not need constant watering, only water during long periods with no rain or if the soil appears to dry out.

You could also plant your bulbs in a container with a mixture of other bulbs for continuous flowering. Read our bulb lasagne article to learn more.

How to Care for Daffodils/ Narcissus

  • Deadhead daffodils/ Narcissus at the end of the blooming season
  • Remove any dead foliage in early summer
  • If the stem turns brown and hollow, detach the stem at the base
  • Monitor for any signs of diseased foliage

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best month to plant daffodil bulbs?

The best time to plant daffodil bulbs is in autumn, when the soil has cooled off but still workable to move. This is normally in September to late November. But for pot grown daffodils, you can plant these in spring.

What happens if you plant a daffodil bulb upside down?

Your daffodil will still grow if planted upside down but this causes unneeded stress which could cause the daffodil to not grow as strong as normal and eventually die if not turned the correct way. After the bulb has stopped flowering you can always dig it up to see what way the flower has grown and move the bulb to face the correct way.

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Updated on February 13, 2023

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