Driving around town or walking your garden you are bound to start to see Daffodils or Narcissus pushing up through the ground or already in bloom. This is one of my favorite plants because of its beauty and versatility. Daffodils are one of the many bulbs that perennialize and after 5-6 years in the ground can be divided and spread. These wonderful spring bloomers thrive in most soils and are virtually pest free.
Daffodils work great for so many applications. They can be planted on their own, or in turf, turning your lawn into a mass of color in early spring. I love to plant them in ground cover beds; after they are done blooming the ground cover hides their left over leaves as they break down and feed the bulb. There is a great temptation to cut this foliage back after they have finished blooming; but make sure you don’t follow that inclination. This is their main source of nutrients as they go back into dormancy through the rest of the year.
If you’re like me you may have some bulbs laying around that you ran out of time to get in the ground during fall. Don’t give up hope yet. If your bulbs are still firm and not squishy you can get them in the ground now; but don’t wait much longer. I’m getting my last few in this weekend. These will not reach their normal height this year and will bloom later but they will fall into a normal bloom cycle for next year.
Daffodils should have been fertilized in the fall but if you didn’t get the chance you can go ahead and apply a light fertilization now. This can be either a granular or water soluble fertilizer, you want to look for a fertilizer with progressively higher number such as 5-10-20. You can also top dress your Daffodils before they start to push up. They love broken down organic matter.