The Daffodils are Coming

img_0088The season for daffodils is starting and I will go through the procedure of planting, maintaining and long term care of the bulbs.

The bulbs arrive from Holland via several US companies such as Van Bourgondien and Colorblends.

The bulbs are laid out in the garden where they are to be planted.

Here Vicente is planting the bulbs using a battery powered 1/2” drill with the attached bulb auger. In this area he planted about 600 daffodil bulbs in about 2 hours.

We find that it is easier to drill the holes first and then put the bulbs in and then cover them with the soil and a layer of mulch.

This is a sequence of photos of a Hyacinth bulb living off of nothing but water.

Bulbs have the flower bud inside them from the previous season. If you put the bulb in a dish of water it will grow roots and flower right on the window sill. That is why you can put daffodils or any bulb anywhere in the garden – sun or shade – and it will bloom. However, the next year it may not bloom if it was planted in the shade because the leaves did not get enough energy from the sun to make a flower bud in the bulb.

Here is a daffodil bulb laying in the garden that didn’t get planted but it bloomed anyway.

These are the first Daffodils to bloom. They are called Narcissus ‘Paperwhite’. The first flower is usually in December. This photo was taken on January 12.

This is another early blooming Daffodil; it is called Narcissus ‘February Gold’. This picture was taken on February 14 and it will bloom for about a month.

This is what 25 Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ bulbs looks like after 6 years. Below is a closeup of one of the clumps.

Narcissus ‘Tete-a-Tete’ blooming in February. This clump was planted about 6 years ago as 1 bulb. It has divided and multiplied over the years and now has 30-40 flowers.

Narcissus ‘Brackenhurst’

Narcissus ‘Jet Fire’

Narcissus ‘Ice follies’

Many catalogs call this the “pink” daffodil but it is really more apricot.

Hoop Petticoat Daffodil

White Hoop Pettycoat Daffodil

This is my favorite Daffodil, Narcissus ‘Thalia’ it blooms for a long time from the mid season to the late season.

This is a dwarf Daffodil; it is only 6” tall.

The butterfly Daffodils have flared trumpets.

There are many double varieties of Daffodils. I don’t have too many at Dawn Gardens because they flop over in the rain.

There are many new Daffodil varieties that are introduced each year.

Daffodils and tulips look good together.

Here are some scenes of daffodils at Dawn Gardens and the date the picture was taken.March 9

March 17

March 20



March 22

March 28

These are a few Narcissus that are blooming on April 28 – the end of the season.

These are the first Narcissus that I planted at Dawn Gardens 17 years ago. I have not divided them during that time. I planted 25 bulbs here and they have divided every year so that now there are over 400 flowers and bulbs. I could dig them up in June and give them away or plant them someplace else in the garden but it is too much work. It is easier just to buy more bulbs if I need them.

Here are a couple of Daffodil seed pods cut in half showing the seeds. The energy put into producing these seeds takes away from the energy producing the flowers in the bulbs next year.

Black mature seeds take energy away from the bulb which may not bloom next year.

Towards the end of the season the daffodil flowers should be deadheaded which is the cutting off of the old flowers at the location shown in this photo. If this is not done the energy produced by the leaves will go into the production of seeds instead of producing a new flower bud in the bulb for next year. It is best to leave as much of the stem as possible because that stem is green and produces energy for next year’s flower too.

By June 1 most of the Daffodil leaves turn brown and can be pulled or raked out. The green leaves in these photos are Daylilies above and Rudbeckia below which bloom in June.

One common gardening question is “What do you plant in the Daffodil garden that will give some color in the summer?” A good answer is Day Lilies because Day Lilies bloom in the summer when the Daffodils are dormant and the Daffodils bloom when the Day Lilies are dormant.

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