Daffodils for Your Spring Garden

All your fundamental questions answered

Daffodils are synonymous with spring, joy and (luckily for gardeners) hardiness. These beautiful bulbs can be planted in so many ways, with so many varieties, that it can be difficult to know where to start. These five fundamental questions kickstart your journey to an animated, sprightly spring garden: The best spring welcoming you can hope for is an array of cheerful flowers, and daffodils fit this criterion flawlessly.

The whimsical flowers have a range of colours from bright white to blush to the classic yellow, and make a statement while maintaining delicacy. For the up-to-date garden designer yellow is also trending colour great for 2019 gardens. These flowers aren’t just for looks either – the colour yellow is said to evoke feelings of happiness, making them the perfect cure for post-winter blues.

If you happen to be born in March and feel like celebrating in September (when daffodils flower) daffodils are the March birth flower. If that’s not enough to convince you, daffodils are extremely easy to grow and can survive a range of climates – they are a fool-proof flower. If taken care of, the flowers will return every spring and bloom continuously.


The daffodils you choose can range from the traditional to the bold, or you could opt for a mixture of many. If you are looking for tall stems with large flowers, a trumpet daffodil such as ‘Mount Hood’ or a large cup daffodil like ‘Ice Follies’ make a bold statement amongst other long grasses. For a flashier feature, double daffodils like ‘Tahiti’ have stunning layers of outer petals that add splash to an indoor space, whether in a pot or as cut flowers. Miniature daffodils like ‘Tete a Tete’ have smaller flowers with a big impact planted beneath shrubs or great indoors. For the classic daffodil admirer, opt for the instantly recognisable yellow ‘Flower Carpet’. There are a number of varieties to choose that undoubtedly suit every need or occasion and, because they’re easy, suit every gardener too.


Daffodils are a plant of patience. Most varieties need to be planted in April or May, with some extending to June, but the flowers will only start to appear around the beginning of September. That said, they are well worth the wait. Their reliability also ensures your initial patience is rewarded with yearly blooms. To extend the season of your flowers, consider planting a range of varieties that bloom at different times – for example, early bloomers like ‘Flower Carpet’ alongside late bloomers ‘Acropolis’ and ‘Pink Select’ – to make the beauty last a little longer.


Besides ensuring adequate sunlight (morning sun and afternoon shade), there are few limits to what you can do with daffodils. The miniature varieties look fantastic in pots and can be used indoors for a quirky accent or as a centrepiece. Your daffodils can become an interesting indoor attraction by planting them in water, either leaving the roots visible with a forcing vase or using stones to keep the bulbs upright. If you need some colour on your patio or as a greeting near your front door, large bulb varieties look lively planted in sizable pots. When planting in the garden it is easy for a few daffodils to get lost, so in this case the bolder the better. Spread bulbs by the dozen amongst long grass or under trees, or create your own meadow by sprinkling as many bulbs as your can on your lawn and planting them where they fall. Their versatility makes daffodils both exciting and easy to design with.


Your wonderful daffodils will also come with an easy guide on how to care for them, but here are the basics. Firstly, like most bulbs, daffodils need to be planted upright (pointed end up) at roughly twice the depth of the bulb itself. As they are hardy plants, they can live with some overcrowding but planting about 10cm apart is best. When growing in containers either indoors or outdoors, plant close together in two layers to give a fuller look. Daffodils need continually moist soil so water well and often. If you are planting in water, make sure only the roots are submerged and not the bulb itself. If you are looking for an easy, sunny spring flower, look no further than the daffodil.

Bulbs available at selected garden centres and nurseries countrywide, or order online from www.hadeco.co.za

The Gardener