This article is contributed by Angela Harpert of Flowershops.co.uk.
Daffodils are classified as Narcissus, with the name deriving from ancient Greek. The myth of the young, vane and beautiful man Narcissus is known all over the world. Daffodils are plants that grow from bulbs in spring. The production is a great addition to one’s garden – fragrant, cheerful blooms which are heralds of spring. Daffodils are the flowers that announce the transition from winter to spring. This makes them some of the most recognizable flowers in the world.
With their trumpet shape and pretty petals, daffodils come in various shapes, colours and sizes. There are miniature daffodils whose shape looks more like a cup than a trumpet. The foliage of these flowers is in the shape of a sword. In terms of planting, the best zone for growing daffodils from bulbs is the Mediterranean region. However, you can plant them just about anywhere between zones 4 and 9. The daffodils need full sun exposure while growing and you have to plant them in a slightly acidic soil that’s well-drained. The full sun requirement might look a bit hard to meet, but it really isn’t. Daffodils bloom in spring when there is plenty of sun and they can be planted under trees. Due to the trees they will receive the necessary nutrients. Choose deciduous trees, not evergreen ones, because evergreen trees will cast a shade throughout the year, thus depriving the flowers from full sun exposure.
In order to produce beautiful blooms every year, you need to take good care of your daffodils. The plants will spread and the garden will get too crowded, so you have to make a choice: either divide the bulbs every 5 years or dig out the ones that have brown leaves and keep them in storage. You can put them in a mesh onion bag and hang them in a dark and cool place with enough ventilation. This way you can store them until next fall and then renew the flower beds. After blooming don’t clean the foliage, at least not until they are yellow – this way you help the natural nutrition process.
Daffodils are really well suited for growing in woodland and rock gardens because of their love for well-drained soil. Daffodils from the late-blooming type will attract butterflies. How about pests you’d wonder? Even though squirrels are famous for digging out the entire bulbs and eating them, by rule they don’t eat daffodil bulbs. The flowers have toxic leaves so don’t expect many pests around them. However, if you have small children or pets, be careful where you plant the flowers.
Plant the daffodil bulbs in fall, but keep in mind that some types don’t react well to chill. It’s best to buy bulbs that are suggested for your particular climate and zone. Plant them about 2-3 times their height deep in the soil with their pointy parts facing up. You can fertilize the soil with bone meal, but it’s not a must. Some growers claim that bone meal attracts pests, so if you don’t want to risk that just use some compost. Two more types of flowers are classified as daffodils too – paperwhites and jonquils. Jonquils have yellow petals, rounded foliage and a strong scent. Paperwhites are part of the Narcissus genus which makes them daffodils by default. All these types make beautiful flower beds, so next fall why don’t you buy some daffodil bulbs and start planting.
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