start

Daffodil - Narcissus - Growing Daffodils - Where to plant Narcissus

Narcissus. We call them Daffodils. Nothing trumpets the glory of Spring like Daffodils.

The familiar gold and yellow colors remind us that true Spring is just around the corner.

But one can also find orange, white, pink, peach and salmon available. Besides flower

color there are other attributes to pay attention to when choosing your Narcissus. One of them

is timing. You can have blooms from February into May depending on the varieties that you

choose. As well, there are some varieties and some groupings that are fragrant. The

Jonquilla, the true Jonquilla, the Tazetta types and the Triandrus types all tend to

be very fragrant. The flower stalks on Narcissus can range from a foot to 18 inches and even

a bit more. There are some dwarf varieties that are much less, good for the rock garden.

Another way that we manipulate the timing of the bloom of Narcissus and other bulbs

is using what we call a microclimate. Here's a good example against the wall of this greenhouse.

It's South facing. The solar heat gain against the wall has warmed up the soil next to the

foundation and these Narcissus - this is Martinette - a very fragrant variety are blooming early.

In a week or two the ones in front will be blooming and we will have an extended bloom

time. Narcissus make great cut flowers. They last a long time in the vase, but don't make

the mistake of putting them in the vase with other flowers. There's an alkaloid in the

vascular system of Narcissus that will actually make other flowers wilt within a few hours

of being exposed. Any good garden soil is fine for Daffodils, but it has to be well

drained. They hate to be sitting in water. Notice the hillside planting here provides

excellent drainage for these Daffodils. Daffodils prefer to be planted in full sun, although

light shade is also good. They really like the shade under Oak trees because Oak trees

tend to leaf out a bit later in the Spring, allowing the strap like leaves of the Narcissus

to mature completely. This allows for good storage of nutrients to get them through the

following Winter and a great Spring display next year. I wonder what spendthrift chose

to spill such bright gold under my windowsill. Is it fairy gold? Does it glitter still? Blessed

be, it's but a Daffodil.