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Daffodil (Narcissus) Growing Guide

Outdoor Beds

1. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still puddles of water 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 10cm to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available.

2. Plant your daffodils where they will receive sun for all, or most, of the day. Dig holes and plant the bulbs with their pointed tops 10-12cm below the soil surface.

3. After planting water well, thoroughly soaking the soil. Most bulbs will begin to grow roots in just a few days, but give your daffodils some leeway to respond to individual conditions. Several varieties also will develop autumn leaves. Buds and blooms will appear in late winter or early spring, depending on the variety and your climate.

4. When this season's blooms are past, your daffodils need to store energy for next year's show. Allow the leaves to photosynthesize (process sunlight to produce food) until they yellow and wither. This is the time to remove the spent foliage. Trimming still-green foliage will reduce the plant's ability to nourish next year's flowers, resulting in fewer, smaller flowers.

5. Water during the autumn and winter with a water-soluble fertilizer to nourish the bulbs as they develop new roots and top growth. Your bulbs will survive without fertilizer, but providing extra nutrients encourages more flowers, larger blossoms and longer life for your bulbs.

Pots, Tubs, Urns & Windowboxes

1. Start with containers of good quality potting mix. Make sure your container has adequate drainage holes; the bulbs must never sit in waterlogged soil.

2. Site your containers where they will receive sun for all, or most, of the day.

3. Plant your daffodils close to each other, with hips about an 5cm apart, for the most brilliant display. Tuck them down 5-10cm into the soil. Feel free to plant pansies, a perfect companion for daffodils, in the same container over the top of the daffodils.

4. After planting water well, thoroughly soaking the soil. Most bulbs will begin to grow roots in just a few days, but give your bulbs some leeway to respond to individual conditions. Several varieties of daffodils also will develop autumn leaves. Buds and blooms will appear in late winter or early spring, depending on the variety and your climate.

5. When this season's blooms are past, your daffodils need to store energy for next year's show. Allow the leaves to photosynthesize (process sunlight to produce food) until they yellow and wither. This is the time to remove the spent foliage. Trimming still green foliage will reduce the plant's ability to nourish next year's flowers. The result will be fewer, smaller flowers.

6. During the hot dry summer, pots of daffodils can be retired to a shady, out of the way location where they can rest. The pansies will have past their prime and can be discarded. When fall returns, pull the daffodil pots out into the sun and, begin watering with a little fertilizer as before. The cycle can be repeated for years.