Planting daffodil bulbs in your own garden


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With the first warmer days of early spring, daffodils sprout and open their flowers. Here you can learn everything about planting daffodil bulbs.

White and yellow daffodil flowers
With the first warmer days of spring, daffodils open their flowers [Photo: Radovan1/]

Daffodils (Narcissus) belong to the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae). The wild species are distributed in southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa. However, these harbingers of Easter have long been native to our gardens. The popularity of the daffodil is shown by its now 24,000 cultivated forms.

The daffodil’s yellow, white to orange bell-shaped flowers bloom from February to May, heralding spring by the hundreds in meadows, gardens or city parks around Easter time. Find out how to grow daffodil bulbs in your own garden in this article.

When to plant daffodils

The daffodil is a bulbous flower. It forms a bulb as a storage organ, which brings it through the winter. All other plant organs die. The bulbs of daffodil go into the ground in September. This will allow the first roots to form before the first prolonged frost. In a pinch, planting is also possible in the spring.

Planting daffodil bulbs

In order for the daffodils to adorn the garden in spring, there are a few things to keep in mind when planting.

  • Soil: garden soil possibly mixed with sand; neutral pH value
  • Planting hole: two to three times as deep as the height of the bulb
  • Planting distance: 12 to 15 cm
  • The bulb goes into the planting hole with the tip facing upwards
  • Fill planting hole loosely with soil
Daffodil buds
The buds of the daffodil are still closed [Photo: Helena Johansson/]

Only garden soils that are too heavy are mixed with sand. A slightly greater seeding depth makes it less likely that the bulbs will dry out. After planting, water thoroughly – this accelerates root development.

Tip: If you want to create optimal conditions for your daffodils, use a high-quality organic soil such as our Plantura Organic Flower Compost.

Organic Flower Compost, 40L
Organic Flower Compost, 40L
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  • Perfect for all flowering plants in garden beds & pots
  • For beautiful blossoms & healthy plant growth
  • Peat-free & organic soil: CO2-saving composition

Growing daffodils: in beds or pots?

If you take the right location into consideration and pay attention to everything important when planting, the 15 to 40 cm tall little plants will feel at home almost anywhere. They can be planted in beds, pots, meadows, lawns or rock gardens. Easter without daffodils in the garden would be hard to imagine.

  • Planting the bulb as described in “Planting daffodils: The correct procedure”
  • Location: Sunny to partial shade
  • In spring moist soil and sunny, in summer dry

Planting daffodil bulbs in the bed

Planted in the bed, they are one of the first to bloom. Together with other early bloomers such as crocuses (Crocus), snowdrops (Galanthus), lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis), daylilies (Hemerocallis) or lungwort (Pulmonaria), they can banish winter as early as February. Some varieties, such as cyclamen daffodils (Narcissus cyclamineus) or trumpet daffodils, are easy to wild. These varieties reproduce independently, thereby spreading all by themselves.

Yellow daffodil flowers
The bright daffodil blossoms chase away the dreary winter [Photo: MCorfield/]

Planting daffodils in a pot

A large pot of blooming daffodils will brighten up any front entrance. Planting takes place as usual in September. The minimum dimensions for the pot are 25 cm in depth and 20 cm in width. When planting in a pot, the following should be observed:

  • Fill pot with mixture of Plantura Organic Flower Compost and sand
  • Planting the bulb as described in the previous section
  • Location: in the dark at 4 °C
  • Keep soil moist only
  • Water well from germination onwards outdoors or in other light, cool locations,
  • but do not allow waterlogging
Organic Flower Compost, 40L
Organic Flower Compost, 40L
star-placeholder star-placeholder star-placeholder star-placeholder star-placeholder
star-rating star-rating star-rating star-rating star-rating
  • Perfect for all flowering plants in garden beds & pots
  • For beautiful blossoms & healthy plant growth
  • Peat-free & organic soil: CO2-saving composition

Daffodils can also bring spring into your home as houseplants. Cooler temperatures around 15 °C make indoor daffodils bloom longer. Also, you should periodically turn the plants, because the flowers turn to the window.

Repotting daffodils

After the plants wither, when all the above-ground parts are dead, the bulb is removed from the ground and dried. In the autumn, the bulbs are planted again.

Propagating or buying daffodils?

After a few colourful years, the flowering power decreases. Now you can decide whether you want to propagate your bulb flowers yourself or simply buy new bulbs. The brown bulbs can be bought in many varieties in specialist shops. If you want to propagate yourself, proceed as follows:

  • Summer: remove the bulb from the ground and carefully remove daughter bulbs by hand
  • Store daughter tubers cool and dry
  • September: planting the daughter tubers
Fresh green sprouts out of a daffodil bulb
You can also propagate daffodils yourself via their bulbs [Photo: Ekaterina Kondratova/]

When dividing, a piece of the base of the bulb must remain on the daughter bulbs. There the sucker root is formed. So multiplying your daffodils yourself by division does not require much effort. You can also sow daffodils yourself. However, it takes up to seven years before the daffodil blooms for the first time.

Daffodils: variety in flower colour and shape

The origin of our word daffodil is as unusual as its trumpet-shaped flower. In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hero who was so self-absorbed in his own beauty that he tried to embrace his reflection in a river and drowned. On the funeral pyre he turned into a daffodil.

The flowers of the daffodil range from white to shades of yellow and orange. The flower structure characterises the 12 groups of daffodils. The various flowers have an intense fragrance. Nevertheless, their flowering time makes them unsuitable for bee pasture. If you want to support bee populations in your own garden, check out our article on the 10 most bee-friendly plants.

White double flowered daffodil
Daffodils can also have double flowers

The right care

Once the bulbs are in the ground, you can enjoy the daffodil’s bells of blossom almost without a second thought. With just a little effort, the harbingers of Easter will usher in spring for years to come.

Pruning daffodils

Pruning is not necessary. To ensure the plant does not put unnecessary energy into seed formation, the flower stem is removed after flowering. Do not remove the leaves until they have yellowed. During wilting, nutrients are shifted into the bulb. This way the bulb is better cared for through the winter. So when planting in the lawn, wait until the leaves have wilted before mowing for the first time.

Watering and fertilising

When watering, it is important to remember that the soil should not be too dry for a long time. Waterlogging should be avoided because of the risk of fungal infection with fusarium. However, for a bulbous plant, daffodil is very tolerant of moisture.

Fertilise, as with other early-flowering bulb flowers in the spring, when the leaves sprout. Fertilise with a natural fertiliser or mature compost. Our Plantura Flower Food with long-lasting action is an excellent choice for daffodils.

Flower Food, 1.5kg
Flower Food, 1.5kg
  • Perfect for flowering plants in the garden & on the balcony
  • For healthier plants with beautiful & long-lasting blossoms
  • Long-lasting fertiliser that is free from animal products - child & pet friendly


  • After flowering remove flower stem
  • Remove leaves only after wilting
  • Watering: No waterlogging, no dryness of the ball
  • Spring: Primarily organic fertilisation when leaves sprout
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