Daffodils welcome spring with bright colors.
image by Meredith B: sxc.hu
Often the first flower to bloom in spring, bright yellow daffodils bring color back to the garden. Unlike tulips and other bulbs, deer and squirrels don't dig up daffodil bulbs, making them a good choice for many gardeners. Daffodils grow well as bedding plants, but they also do well in containers and pots. Low-maintenance daffodil bulbs are a good choice for beginner gardeners, or those with minimal time for garden upkeep. Once planted, the bulbs will produce flowers for many years.
Plant the bulbs soon after purchase in the fall so they don't dry out or rot. Choose the largest bulbs possible.
Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Cover the ground in straw mulch over winter to help preserve moisture and maintain ground temperature.
Fertilize with a bulb fertilizer in the spring once leaves emerge from the ground. Fertilize a second time one month after the first application.
Pinch off fading flowers before they go to seed. Grasp the stem just beneath the flower head between your thumb and forefinger and break off the spent flower head. Seed production robs nutrients from the bulb that would otherwise be used for flower production.
Allow leaves to yellow and die back naturally. Leaves are necessary to produce the nutrients for next season's flowering; removing them early will stunt flower production.
Dig up bulbs every three to five years after the leaves die back. Replant the largest and healthiest bulbs.