Cool Ways to Plant Daffodils


Growing up to 18 inches tall, your blooming daffodils (Narcissus spp.) slowly angle their blossoms upward to soak in their full sunlight locations. Blooming from winter into spring, these perennial bulbs prefer U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. Although you can always plant daffodils in a basic straight line, there are several cool ways to arrange your bulbs for a natural and flowing appearance.

Natural Feel

  • One fun and cool way to arrange your daffodils is using a tossing action. Choose an open yard area to throw your bulbs into the air. As they drop on the ground, they mark their new planting location -- use a bulb auger to quickly create holes for rapid planting. This strategy creates a wild and natural appearance to your flowerbed. Alternatively, roll some bulbs around your perennial bushes, much like rolling dice, to determine planting locations. The bulbs quickly fill in the space between bushes without appearing like a line of soldiers.

Arranging Clusters

  • Arrange your bulbs in borders surrounding your patio or among tall trees to shield the daffodils from hot, afternoon sunlight. You can arrange the bulbs in almost any geometric configuration you can think of across your yard, such as circles, triangles or even parallelograms. Each of these unique clusters should allow for 4 to 8 inches of space between each bulb -- your daffodils still need ample moisture and nutrient resources for healthy growth. Depending on your yard's size, create multiple clusters of different shapes with at least 24 inches of space between each grouping to access the area for watering and basic garden maintenance.

Filling the Void

  • Your garden will have an obvious void in the late spring and summer as the daffodil foliage dies back -- you must allow the leaves to hang limp until they are papery and yellow to rejuvenate the bulb for next year's growth. To disguise your waning daffodils, plant flowering perennials around your bulbs. Although you can still see the daffodils behind the perennials, the appearance is not too bare to cause an unsightly garden area. Deadhead the daffodils to reduce mold problems as well -- the shorter flower stalks make the daffodils easier to hide during dieback and dormancy.

Container Alternative

  • If you have limited space, another cool way to display daffodils is in containers. As long as your container has proper drainage holes and at least 1 inch of soil above the bulb, you can space your container bulbs closely -- 1/2 inch should suffice for most daffodils. Place the container on a patio or porch with morning sunlight. Avoid placing the container in afternoon sunlight, especially against an outside wall. Reflected light and heat may damage the struggling leaves which causes possible dieback and failed flowering.

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