How to Plant Narcissis Bulbs


Most commonly called daffodils, the Narcissus is actually the genus name for the bright yellow, white and cream trumpet-shaped bulb flowers that bloom in spring. Daffodils represent the the larger trumpet form of the Narcissus genus, while jonquils are a smaller group with scented, tiny flowers. Planting Narcissus in the fall will provide perky, colorful heralds of spring come the new growing season, with little effort on your part.

Step 1

Choose a location in full sun. Good drainage is essential, so avoid locations where water will pool or lay stagnant. Narcissus are highly susceptible to bulb rot in soggy conditions.

Step 2

Prepare the soil by incorporating up to 2 inches of organic matter, like composted pine bark or peat moss, tilling to a depth of 12 inches. Deep cultivation in beds where bulbs will bloom year after year provides the best long term results. Add 2 lbs. bulb fertilizer per 100 square feet, mixing well into the bed.

Step 3

Plant bulbs 6 to 8 inches deep, or about three times the height of the bulb. Space them 6 to 12 inches apart, if bulbs will remain in the same bed over a long period of time. Closer spacing will create the need to dig and move them sooner, as they will multiply.

Step 4

Mulch several inches over the bed with pine needles or wood chips to retain moisture.

Step 5

Water the bulbs in areas where the fall is dry. Otherwise, allow natural moisture to water the bulbs and avoid bulb rot from over-watering.

Step 6

Fertilize in the spring by adding a slow-release mix over the soil surface and water well. Do not allow fertilizer to rest on foliage as it may burn.

Step 7

Leave the foliage to die back naturally after the Narcissus blooms have faded. The foliage feeds the bulb with energy that supplies next year's bloom. Once foliage is yellow and wilted, pinch it back by hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Narcissus bulbs
  • Trowel
  • Shovel
  • Bulb fertilizer
  • Slow release fertilizer
  • Organic mulch


  • Purdue University Extension Service (PDF)
  • University of Illinois Extension
  • University of Missouri Extension
Keywords: Narcissus bulbs, planting Narcissus, growing Narcissus

About this Author

Desirae Roy holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education, with a focus on reading and special education. Also an interpreter for the deaf, she facilitates communication for students who learn in an inspiring way. Roy cultivates a life long love of learning and enjoys sharing her journey with others through writing.