Planting Daffodils


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Wordsworth was right:

WANDER'D lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

… For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

Daffodils are wonderful flowers, combining beauty and durability. These beautiful flowers, once planted right, can outlive us all! They are the easiest and most dependable of all the families of flowers and ideal for a beginner in gardening. They can be grown

almost anywhere in the United States. They are quite tolerant of cold, especially with a covering of snow and are planted right up to the Canadian borders. They do need a cold treatment, natural or induced. They can also be grown in the south, with the exception of spots of Florida which are frost free.

Daffodils will flower from anywhere to six weeks to six months, depending on where you live and the cultivars you grow. After the flowers bloom, please leave them alone! No tying up in attractive little bundles, or worse, cutting back the plant too early. Let the daffodil plant rebuild its bulb for the next year. The leaves will stay green while this is happening. When the leaves do begin to yellow, then you can cut…. NOT BEFORE!

Remember a few easy tips:

Plant deep, plant early, and good drainage!

1) Choose a well-drained, sunny spot. A hillside or a raised bed is the best. Drainage is key. Spade the ground well, at least 10 – 12” deep and make sure that your soil is good – if you have clay, then add well-rotted compost, soil amendments or a planting mix. Your aim is for at least 4 – 5” of soil on top of the bulb. Shallow planting is a problem – the soil covering the bulb is quick to dry out, and the lack of moisture can affect the following season’s flowering.

2) Plant the bulbs so that their top (the pointed end) is at least two times as deep as the bulb is high. You don’t need a ruler, as the bulbs will adjust themselves!

3) Once the leaf-tips emerge from the ground, top dress them with a 5-10-10 and a 0-10-10 as they flower.

4) Water well after planting, and keep them moist until the rains come. Continue to water after they bloom, for about 3 weeks. Then, stop watering.

5) And, once bloomed, don’t cut the foliage.

In 1985, Briscoe White opened The Growers Exchange in an abandoned Texaco station on a busy urban street corner in Richmond, Virginia. The facility has grown over the years, and is now 5 distinct growing environments with 5 acres under cover. Briscoe has over 25 years of gardening experience. For further information on gardening products or gardening tips please contact Briscoe White at


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