Plant daffodil bulbs before mid-June for a welcoming display in spring.

Related to growing daffodils: PLANTING SPRING-FLOWERING BULBS

Spring is just not spring without a few daffodils in the garden either in beds or in containers on the patio. Bulbs are available from most garden centres and should be planted before mid-June for a stunning display in spring. Daffodils like ‘Flower Carpet’ make excellent cut flowers. This is want you need to know about growing daffodils:

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  • Plant them in light, dappled shade, or a spot that receives mild morning sun but is protected from the hot midday and afternoon sun.
  • Using a fork, loosen the soil to a depth of about 20cm and mix in some compost.
  • Plant the bulbs with about 5cm of soil above the neck and space them about 10cm apart.
  • Water them deeply (for 40 minutes or so with a sprinkler) every four days, depending on the weather. This is essential and the difference between success and failure. Keep the soil moist – a layer of mulch will help with this.
  • There’s no need to fertilise them while they’re growing; rather fertilise them after flowering with Hadeco Bulb Food or a 3:1:5 fertiliser so they can store nutrients for the following season.
  • After they’ve flowered, leave them to go dormant if the soil is well drained and they should flower again next spring. However if you need the space, lift them when the foliage starts to brown and store them in a dry place at room temperature.


All daffodils do well in pots, but it’s the dwarf varieties look amazing in containers. A grouping of miniature ‘Paperwhite’ daffodils will also do well indoors on a bright windowsill that’s out of direct sunlight. When growing them in a container, plant them in two layers to get a fuller look. In a deep container, plant the first layer, cover with soil and then add another layer.

More like growing daffodils in containers: Growing roses in containers


To get that natural English look, scatter bulbs on the lawn and plant where they fall. A spot under a tree looks best. Early-flowering ‘Flower Carpet’ is the ideal variety for this purpose, but only plant them in a shade lawn such as Shade-Over, not kikuyu. Water as above.

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‘Flower Carpet’ is at its best when planted in large drifts under trees.


Liven up beds with some unusual varieties such as ‘Pink Select’ which has white petals surrounding a pale yellow cup that eventually turns pink. ‘Juanita’ makes a bold display with its broad yellow petals and large orange cup. ‘Ice Follies’ has white petals and large, creamy yellow cup. At 40–50cm tall, these daffodils can be planted at the front of a perennial and shrub border, or in the middle of a border among spring-flowering annuals and low-growing perennials.


Plant different varieties so when early-blooming varieties, such as ‘Flower Carpet’, ‘Paperwhite’ and ‘Ice Follies’, start to fade, they’ll be succeeded by late bloomers, like ‘Acropolis’ and ‘Pink Select’.

a guide to growing daffodils - SA Garden and Home

Daffodils-‘Paperwhite’ does well in containers.

For more information on growing daffodils, or to purchase them, visit