Planting Instructions for Daffodils


Daffodils (Narcissus) are spring flowering bulbs. These perennials reach 8 to 20 inches tall. Yellow, white and orange, fragrant, trumpet-shaped blossoms appear when the soil starts to warm up. Daffodils are originally from Europe. They are used in flower beds, borders, spring groundcovers, rock garden flowers, container plants and cut flowers. Daffodils thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 8.

Step 1

Remove weeds, grass and brush in an area with full sun exposure in October. Plant while the weather is still nice and the soil is still warm to allow the daffodils to grow roots.

Step 2

Loosen the soil to the depth of 10 to 12 inches with a shovel. Break up large dirt clumps. Remove any buried debris such as rocks and sticks.

Step 3

Spread a 1-inch layer of sand over the soil and a 2- to 4-inch layer of peat moss to add drainage and organic materials to the soil. Add a layer of 1/4 cup of 6-24-24 fertilizer for every 12 bulbs. Mix thoroughly by turning the soil over with a shovel.

Step 4

Dig out the planting area so that the bases of the daffodil bulbs are 6 inches below the soil line. Place the bulbs on the soil with the flat side down and 2 to 4 inches apart. Fill the planting area with soil.

Step 5

Spread 4 to 6 inches of pine needles, wood chips or shredded bark mulch.

Step 6

Flood the daffodil bed with water for five minutes. Water the flower bed once a week during the fall to encourage root growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Bulb rot is a big problem for daffodils. These bulbs begin rotting at the base. Plant daffodil bulbs that are properly cured and free of any damage. Avoid over fertilizing and do not plant daffodils in places with standing water. Discard any plant with rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Sand
  • Peat moss
  • Fertilizer
  • Daffodil bulbs
  • Pine needles
  • Water


  • University of Missouri Extension: Spring Flowering Bulbs: Daffodils
  • Washington State University: Planting Daffodils
  • N.C. State University Cooperative Extension: Daffodils
Keywords: planting daffodils, daffodil planting instructions, planting spring bulbs

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.