A Perennial Favorite – Daffodils
Thinking of planting a perennial favorite? Here are a few tips.
Do: Plant daffodils where they will get at least 6 hours of full sun even after trees leaf out. Sun on the leaves will provide energy for next year’s flowers.
Do: Plant in well-drained soil. Daffodils hate wet feet and will tell you so by dying.
Do: Fertilize very lightly with an organic low-nitrogen fertilizer in early spring as shoots are starting to emerge.
Do: Try some new or even heirloom varieties. One of my favorites is a cream-colored double called ‘Bridal Crown’, shown here. Plant it near an entryway – its fragrance will knock your socks off.
Do: Buy bulbs from a reputable source. Bulbs need to be harvested and thoroughly dried before shipping, ideally that would make them available in September. A retail calendar that insists they show up in August should make you suspicious that they may not have cured long enough.
Don’t: Make the mistake of planting the bulb upside down. The pointed end goes up.
Don’t: Cut, braid or otherwise mutilate the leaves after flowering. Yes, it looks bad but the leaves need to capture as much energy as they can from the sun to bloom well next year. Wait at least 8 weeks after blooming to cut back. I like to plant daffodils among hostas; as the hostas grow their emerging leaves will hide the yellowing foliage.