Daffodil Bulb Planting & Growing Instructions

Upon Arrival

Store in a dark, dry place at temperatures of 50º to 60º. Basements and garages work. A temperature range of 38º to 70º is acceptable. If your bulbs are in paper bags, open the bags to allow for air circulation around bulbs.

When to Plant

Plant your daffodil bulbs in fall after the first frost, when the ground temperature is about 55º. This generally occurs when the night temperatures stay between 40º to 50º, around mid-October to mid-November. Daffodil bulbs must be planted in fall, before the ground freezes, to have spring flowers. Bulbs cannot be planted in spring.

Where to Plant

Daffodils need full sun after tree leaves appear to naturalize (multiply and spread).When planting under or in the shade of deciduous trees a minimum of 6 hours of sun is required to continue blooming year after year. Daffodils will grow in almost any soil but need good drainage to prevent the bulbs from rotting. Avoid damp areas and where water stands after rain.


Plant 6″ deep and at least 4″ apart (4–5 bulbs per sq. foot). For naturalizing, space farther apart. Place bulbs with the flat side down and the pointed end up. If some end up sideways, they will still grow properly because bulbs seek to grow opposite gravity. If the soil is dry, water the ground after planting.

Daffodil Planting Tips

Uncultivated ground – If the planting area has many rocks, the pointed end of a pick works well to loosen the ground and remove them. When planting 100 or more bulbs in a naturalizing manner (so they look like they sprang up on their own), try excavating several large holes in drifts to a depth of about 6″, place the dirt to the side and put many bulbs in each hole and then backfill the earth into the hole. This method works particularly well along roadsides. 100 bulbs will cover 25 to 45 square feet depending upon bulb spacing.

Lawn areas – Use a large shovel to remove the earth and grass in 1 piece, plant 2 bulbs spaced at least 4″ apart, then replace the earth and grass “plug”. Another method is simply use a large shovel and pivot the grass and earth “plug” up to one side, like a hinge, place the two bulbs in the hole and let the “plug” fall back in place. Tamp grass plug down so there are no air spaces. Reseed lawn as needed.

Watering dry ground before planting usually softens the area, making it easier to dig. Because daffodils are deer and rodent resistant, they can be planted along roadsides without being disturbed.

Care of Daffodils

Daffodils are easy to care for. Fertilize every other year by broadcasting a light application of organic bulb fertilizer, such as BulbTone, just after the shoots emerge in late winter or early spring. This will help keep your daffodils blooming year after year. After flowering you must wait until the daffodil leaves turn yellow and fall to the ground before cutting or mowing them. This usually occurs about 6 weeks after they finish blooming or around June 30 to July 15. Do not braid or tie up the leaves; the leaves are making next year’s flowers. Daffodils should be watered, as needed, during the flowering and green foliage stage.

Version 2021-S

Lewisboro Garden Club
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