Daffodils: The March Birth Flower that Announces the Return of Beautiful Sunny Days

5 min read

Daffodils symbolize rebirth, respect, consideration, love, and hope. It is the first flower of spring and the birth flower of March. Additionally, it is among the best bulbs to plant in spring.

Daffodils, or narcissus, are trendy plants that you can find in most gardens. Its lovely scent makes it a perfect choice to plant indoors and outdoors.

These plants are bulbous perennials that are very easy to grow. They seduce us with their luminous spring flowering, in white or yellow, and sometimes orange tones. They grow just about everywhere and are quickly naturalized.

Daffodils come in many colors that can be combined or with other spring bulbs, such as hyacinths or tulips. The daffodil is a hardy bulb that you like to install in your garden or your living room.

Discover our tips for planting and growing them, in pots or the ground. Keep reading to find out:

*       Description

*       Where to plant daffodils?

*       How and when to plant them?

*       Watering and fertilizer

*       Care and maintenance

*       Pests and diseases

Description

Generally, the daffodil refers to the narcissus with large trumpets. The birth flower of March, also known as the daffodil, is recognized for its yellow color with its distinct smell. Moreover, the plant belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. It is native to the Mediterranean regions.

Beautiful daffodils are used all over the world as a decorative plant. Its various colors take your breath away and leave you speechless. In England, the birth flower of the daffodil is known as the Lenten lily because it blooms during Lent.

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Today, there are more than 50 varieties of daffodils. It is a perennial plant with a bulb and deciduous foliage. In contrast, all parts of the plant are poisonous. The size varies between 15 and 50 cm. Nevertheless, daffodils are hardy in frost above -15°C. Feel free to plant them in borders, clumps, rockeries, or pots.

Where to Plant Daffodils?

Plant your daffodils in early autumn, ideally between September and November. However, planting is still possible until December.

For some varieties, such as ‘February Gold,’ don’t wait; plant them as early as September! Your daffodils can thrive in full sun or semi-shade. You can plant them at the foot of deciduous trees, in the undergrowth, or a lawn. They are undemanding and can flourish anywhere. Unlike other bulbs that rot quickly, daffodils can tolerate winter humidity quite well. They grow well even in heavy or clayey soils.

Narcissus likes rather cool, even wet soils in winter and spring, but after flowering, they appreciate dry ground for the summer.

Avoid planting them near a place where you are going to work the soil again, or plant other plants so as not to damage them with a spade. Similarly, it is preferable to mark the location with a stick or stake.

How and When to Plant Them?

Don’t hesitate to plant them in groups to form large, fairly dense clumps. For a suitable appearance, compose uniform clusters with a single variety, rather than mixing several types. Keep a distance of about 10 centimeters between each bulb. For a very natural effect, you can arrange them randomly by throwing them and planting them where they fall.

First of all, dig a hole, 10 to 15 centimeters deep. We recommend planting the bulbs at a depth of three times their height. This way, the larger ones can be planted a little deeper than the smaller ones. Do not hesitate to use a bulb planter. Secondly, place the bulb in the right direction, with the point facing upwards. You can gather three or five bulbs in the same hole to form clumps.

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Once planting is complete, we advise you to apply a mulch layer of dead leaves.

Watering and Fertilizer

In the open ground, daffodils do not need water before flowering. Be careful not to place the bulbs in soil that is too heavy in clay or too damp to avoid them rotting. After planting, cover the bulbs with fertilizing mulch or a bed of dry leaves.

When the daffodils bloom, make sure the soil is moist, as this increases the flowering. Once the stems have deflowered, do not cut the foliage until it is yellowed. By doing so, it allows the bulbs to be nourished and start the next season. You can also tie the leaf stems on themselves so that they are not too visible in spring beds. 

In pots, there is no need for extensive watering for forced bulbs. A simple spray on the substrate to maintain humidity should be sufficient. 

Care and Maintenance

Once flowering is over, it is best to remove the wilted flowers so as not to exhaust the plant carelessly. You can also add potassium-rich fertilizer. Let the foliage fade on its own.

Cutting the foliage too early can jeopardize the flowering of the following year. We advise you to divide your daffodils every four years, or even a little more the first year if the flowering period runs out or the clumps become too dense.

It is useless to water the daffodils in summer since the bulb is dormant. On the other hand, do not hesitate to water late-flowering daffodils in spring if the weather is dry.

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Narcissus requires almost no maintenance. They grow very well on their own. Rodents never attack their bulbs because they are poisonous! You can even plant daffodils next to other bulbs, such as tulips, to protect them. Interestingly, they combine wonderfully.

Pests and Diseases

Daffodils have few enemies, apart from field mice who love to nibble bulbs in the ground. To fight them, plant the bulbs in buried plastic baskets. 

Choose healthy bulbs before planting them in pots or the ground and take care of the daffodil’s planting holes. Add sand if necessary to prevent excess moisture from causing gray rot on the bulbs. 

Daffodils are also very insensitive to diseases. They are sometimes attacked by the narcissus fly (Merodonequestris), whose larvae eat the bulbs. You can protect your daffodils by mulching the ground in the autumn to prevent the adults from laying eggs and, thus, the worms from appearing. Slugs can also nibble petals.

The daffodil is a beautiful flower that blooms in early spring. It is characterized by its solitary flowers or in bunches with single, double, or trumpet-shaped flowers. Daffodils arrived in Europe during the Renaissance. They are easy to cultivate, whether in pots or the ground. You can even force the bulbs to bloom early in the season and enjoy their scent all year round.

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