When & How to Plant Daffodil Bulbs


Daffodil, also known as narcissus, is an annual or perennial flower valued for its large, ornamental flowers. Daffodil flowers can be white, yellow or orange in color, and are one of the first flowers to bloom in early spring. They typically grow to about 20 inches in height and are commonly used in flower gardens. Daffodil bulbs must be properly planted, or flowering will be reduced or non-existent. With proper care, however, the bulbs will thrive in the home garden with only minimal maintenance.

Step 1

Choose a planting location for daffodil bulbs that receives full to partial sunlight throughout the day. Spread 1 inch of peat moss over the planting site and use a garden hoe to incorporate it into the soil to increase drainage and moisture retention.

Step 2

Fertilize the soil prior to planting using a 5-10-5 NPK fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients for growth to begin. Water immediately after fertilizing to release the nutrients into the soil. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for correct dosage.

Step 3

Plant daffodil bulbs during September or October. Dig a hole in the soil 6 inches deep and place the bulb into the hole with the pointed side up. Back-fill with soil and water lightly to bring moisture into contact with the bulb. Space daffodil bulbs 12 inches apart.

Step 4

Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the entire planting site to suppress weeds and increase moisture retention. Mulch over the planted bulbs, as they will break through after growth begins. Replenish the mulch as often as necessary to keep the layer 2 inches deep.

Step 5

Water daffodil bulbs once every five days during the first month after planting to help establish the root system. Reduce frequency to once every 10 days during winter. Increase frequency to once per week during spring, summer and fall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Daffodil bulbs and leaves are toxic and should never be ingested at any time, as serious illness or death can occur.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Garden hoe
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulch


  • University of Tennessee Department of Agriculture Plant of the Month: Daffodil
  • University of Missouri Cooperative Extension Service: Spring Flowering Bulbs: Daffodils
  • "Mid-Atlantic Gardener's Guide;" André Viette, Mark Viette, Jacqueline Hériteau; 2003
Keywords: daffodil bulbs, daffodils, plant daffodil bulbs

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.