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Narcissus Bulbs 101
No other bulb comes to mind as often as a daffodil when one things nostalgic, historical, antique, or perennial. “Daffodil” is a common name for the large trumpet shaped golden blooms, but they actually fall into a scientific grouping known as Narcissus.
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Old Fashioned Beauty and Value
Usually, the name Nariccus evokes thoughts of old fashioned jonquils, campernelles, paperwhites, and more. These are all smaller flowers, but there are more flowers per stem, and often times this results in a larger color impact in the landsape than just a solid trumpet. ALL of the bulbs, from daffodils to other narcissus stand the best chance of naturalizing, being perennials, and coming back year after year for your garden.
Narcissus That Last!If you want to be sure your Narcissus will come back, look around at the historic sites that might have old bulbs returning and multiplying each year. You will most likely find grand primos, jonquils, and campernelles. A little farther north, you will see larger trumpets returning such as ‘Carlton’ or ‘Ice Follies’--these are also the large trumpet daffodils that stand the best chance of coming back in areas closer to the Gulf Coast, but such locations are a little out of range for these bulbs and 3-5 years is a normal lifetime. If you are on the Gulf Coast, try the numerous Narcissus tazetta varieties and selections for 25, 50, or more years of repeat blooms.
Nourish the Narcissus
Daffodils are easy to keep healthy. As a good "rule of thumb" for most daffodils, are planted at a depth about three times the height of the bulb and plant in full sun. Most are highly rot resistant, and will survive year after year in irrigated environments. Narcissus can start blooming as early as Thanksgiving, but most bloom from late February to early April. Let the foliage die down naturally or wait to the first couple weeks of May to mow the foliage down. The end of the bloom cycle when the foliage turns brown and dies, is an important step to the bulbs survival. During this stage, the foliage collects as much energy from the sun, turns it into food, and sends it back to the bulb. To cut down the foliage now is to cut off its food supply that leads to next year’s healthy bulb.