Daffodils (Narcissus) are real spring bloomers that cheer up the garden when other plants, trees and shrubs are still hibernating. The daffodil family consists of many types. The very smallest will grow ten centimetres high, and the largest up to sixty centimetres. Their flower size varies as much as their height. And don’t be fooled: they don’t just come in yellow. The flower colour can be any shade of white, yellow or orange. So much diversity!
The daffodil family is huge and consists of about thirty-five different varieties. The wild daffodil, the large-crowned and the small-crowned daffodil are the best known varieties. The large number of different varieties can be divided in about 23,000 variants and cultivars. It’s enough to make your head swim! To provide more clarity on the various shapes, colours and smells, you can read about the twelve main groups here:
Bulbocodium hybrid daffodil
This frivolous-looking daffodil is also called the petticoat daffodil and stands out for its relatively large crowns and small petals. The flowers appear to trumpet non-stop music into the world.
This daffodil has petals that stand up a little. And if you look closely, you can see that it reverently bends its flower slightly towards the ground.
Graceful double daffodils offer twice the fun. They produce one or more flowers per stem, with double petals, double trumpets and sometimes even both!
Each stem of the large-crowned daffodil produces one striking flower. These flowers look like wild daffodils, but their crown is slightly longer.
Jonquilla and apodenthus daffodil
This cheerful little daffodil produces clusters with up to five flowers per stem. The flowers are delicate and they also emit a delightful scent.
This fun daffodil has flowers that are very similar to wild daffodils, but with shorter crowns.
The poet’s daffodil understands the poetry of nature. Its small yellow trumpets with a red border and green heart contrast magnificently with its snow white petals.
This is a wild daffodil, one of the oldest Stinzen plants. The contrast between its pale yellow petals and the bright yellow crown is lovely and striking. The flower droops a little bit.
This beauty is also known as the butterfly daffodil. It produces multiple flowers with crowns for their collars that are deeply split and almost lie on the petals.
If you want loads of flowers, the generous tazetta daffodil is an excellent choice. Its sturdy stems produce up to twenty often fragrant flowers.
Angel’s tears (narcissus triandrus)
The elegant Angel’s tears produces two or more flowers per stem. A striking feature is that the outer petals bend gracefully upwards.
These daffodils have large trumpets; they are the same length or longer than the petals.
If you are keen to have these fresh, cheerful flowers in your garden, plant them in autumn, from September until the first frost. Daffodils will happily grow in any soil type. Make sure to put them in a well-drained spot. Too much moisture will cause putrefaction. They prefer to shine in a sunny spot, but they will also thrive in partial shade. Depending on the variety, plant them 12-20 centimetres deep at a planting distance of 10-15 centimetres.
- Daffodils are naturalising bulbs. This means that they will grow in number every year; you don’t have to do anything.
- The first variety in the Netherlands was cultivated in 1601: the Narcissus ‘Campernelle’.
- The flowering period runs from February to the end of May, and each daffodil chooses its individual moment.
- Daffodils also thrive in pots. Do make sure there is proper drainage by placing potsherds in the bottom of the pot and making a hole in the bottom.
- Cut away faded flowers to prevent them using energy to form seed. You should not remove the leaves, however, as this is where the bulb gets its nutrients for the next year.