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How to Care for a Narcissus Plant

The narcissus grows from a bulb in spring, often one of the first plants to flower in spring, even before all the snow has melted from the ground. The most commonly known narcissus variety is the daffodil, which belongs to a class known as trumpet narcissus. There are also miniature and multi-flowered classes along with wildflower types. Most varieties do well in beds, borders and in edging. Narcissus are perennials, so with proper care return year after with new blooms.

Plant narcissus in well draining beds in full sun. Lay a three inch layer of mature compost over new beds, and till it in to an eight to 12 inch depth.

Fertilize with a bulb fertilizer prior to planting fresh bulbs. Apply two pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet or work a teaspoon into the bottom of each planting hole.

Fertilize yearly after the flowers fade with three pounds of bonemeal and five pounds of wood ash per 100 square feet of bed. Mix it into the soil next to the plants, taking care not to get it in direct contact with the bulbs, as this may burn and damage them.

Mulch over bulbs in the fall with a three inch layer of straw or wood chips to protect them from frost damage. Remove the mulch, leaving only one inch on the bed, in spring to help retain soil moisture and inhibit weed growth.

Remove flowers to prevent seed development after they have faded in spring. Allow the foliage to die back naturally before removal, as it is storing nutrients necessary for next year's blooming.


Keep narcissus beds moist but not soggy. With mulching, they will likely only require minimal watering.

If your bed seems overcrowded, dig up the bulbs and divide them after the foliage dies back in summer.

Most narcissus are unappetizing to pests such as deer and squirrels, so are left alone.


Always water after fertilizing, otherwise fertilizer left on the leaves may damage the plant.

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