Daffodils make wonderful indoor or outdoor plants. Up north and in the plain states, daffodils are sometimes used to bring a breath of spring indoors during the winter. But here in sunny west-central Florida, with very few days near freezing, you can enjoy this beautiful bulb practically anytime of year. Distinguished by their yellow, white, and orange flowers, usually with six tepal and trumpet-shaped corona, these are popular plants which go back to antiquity.
You can grow daffodils indoors or outdoors and some people prefer to start their growth cycle inside and then transfer the flowers to an outdoor garden after some weeks.
Part of the bulbiferous geophytes, daffodils or narcissus poeticus, have been around mankind for quite some time. In fact, these plants go back to ancient civilization. What’s more, the origin of its scientific classification remains a mystery to this day. However, it is known these plants are toxic. Like other dangerous plants children and pet households should avoid, daffodils contain the alkaloid poison lycorine.
Daffodils bring cheer to the spring garden with abundant flowers in hues of yellow, white, pink, and salmon. Varieties are available in a range of sizes and forms. Flowers may be single or double, grow singly on a stem or with multiple flowers per stem, and height varies from 6 to 20 inches. Daffodils grow best in areas with cold winters, cool springs, and cool summers. Choose varieties that mature at different times to extend the bloom season. Unlike many spring-flowering bulbs, daffodil bulbs are not eaten by mice or voles. —Garden.org
When ingested, daffodils are known to cause acute abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Additionally, ingestion of daffodils can also cause trembling, convulsions, paralysis, and even death. They are known to have been a method of suicide in the ancient world and remained so through later centuries. So, it’s best to keep these plants out-of-reach of children and pest, if grown indoors or even in an outdoor garden.
Daffodil Growing Care for Beginners
Daffodils, part of the genus narcissus, are perennials. This means they generally live more than two years. Like other perennial plants, daffodils will grow and bloom during the spring, as well as the summer, then die over the fall and winter months. When spring arrives again, daffodils will come back to life and repeat the cycle. If you want to enjoy the beauty of daffodils, but are new to these plants, you just need to know a little daffodil bulb care for beginners:
- Plant seed pods in a pot. You can purchase a “kit” or daffodil seed pods from a nursery. Be sure to inquire about the size of the pot so the roots have plenty of room to take hold. Place the pot near a window, where the plant can receive sunlight. But, do not place it in direct sunlight as this can burn the plant’s foliage. Direct sunlight also causes the blooms to lose their color and fade away quickly. The room temperature should remain about 70 degrees. Place a drain pan below the pot to catch the runoff water.
- Check the soil regularly. About once or twice a week, gently poke your finger into the soil to detect the amount of moisture. If the top inch begins to feel dry, water the plant. After watering your daffodils, check the pan for water about every half hour for one to two hours. Empty the tray to prevent the soil from becoming too soggy.
- Prune the plants when needed. When the blooms begin to fade, gently snip any spent flowers just beneath the base. Do not remove the remaining stems because these will continue to absorb energy from the sun and nutrients from the soil.
- Fertilize about every two weeks. Use a soluble balanced fertilizer but do so only about every two weeks after the last of the flowers fade. This is especially a good practice for transplanting into an outdoor garden. Be sure to check the fertilizer for its strength so the daffodils do not receive too much.
- Transplant the flowers to an outdoor garden. Now, you can transplant the flowers to your outdoor garden. Plant in a well-drained spot, with filtered sunlight exposure. You can place daffodils in direct sunlight, but the flower colors will fade quicker and die off sooner. Allow the leaves to die back on their own, in a natural manner.