A GUIDE TO PLANT, GROW AND CARE FOR DAFFODIL PLANT

If you are plant lover you will definitely love daffodils and want them in your garden. This article content is going to be best for those who prefer planting daffodils for spring as it covers complete ideas on growing and caring for this garden beauty.

 

INTRODUCTION

Daffodils is a hardy bulbous perennial plant native to North Europe which belongs to genus Narcissus and family Amaryllidaceae. This temperate beauty brings a pleasant smile in the spring gardens with its bright yellow color. They are commonly grown in the Northern regions except the hot and wet areas of USA. 

Conspicuous trumpet-shaped structure with contrasting background color of star shaped six petals of this species usually leave us astonished. This fall-planted bulb blooms in late winter or early spring.

 

HOW TO GROW DAFFODILS:

Daffodil, a herald of spring is easy to grow. But you need to take care of its requirement as we all know the more care and love you will give to plant the more it blooms and spreads happiness.

 

1. CLIMATE AND SOIL

a) CLIMATE

  • They thrive best in the temperate region which means they are sun loving species.
  • But they could be planted in the partial shade of deciduous trees too where they could receive at-least four to six hours of sun in a day.
  • Light helps to store more nutrients in the bulb so that they can grow well and bloom brightly in the next planting season.
  • Daffodils can tolerate extreme chilling temperatures as they need cold to set roots (most of the varieties).

 

b) SOIL

  • Slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH 6-7) is best preferred by the daffodils.
  • They do best and could survive for years in well drained mineral rich soil. For this purpose you can mix compost manure in your soil.

 

2. SITE SELECTION

  • Perennial raised flower beds or even shrub is well suited.
  • Since they are sun loving, planting them under an evergreen tree and the northern side should be avoided.
  • Planting daffodil under a deciduous tree is fine because they will bloom before leaves are out in the spring.
  • They even shine brightly in the rock gardens but best soil works best always.

 

3. PLANTING DAFFODILS

  • To select the bulb for planting, you must choose the large one with a frim shape and dry papery covering.
  • In order to overcome the excess moisture in the soil, raised bed or slope areas are best to plant them even if the soil have good drainage.
  • A simple thumb rule while planting the bulb in the soil is to cover the bulb twice the height of the bulb.
  • In case of warmer climate and sandy soil, bulbs should be planted in more depth than in cold regions and heavy soil.
  • Shallow planted bulbs are more prone to split. Thus, bulbs should be planted deep for more flowers and blooms in the next season too.
  • Three to six inches apart plantation (spacing) is preferred to avoid overcrowding.

 

CARING DAFFODILS

a) WHAT TO DO IN GARDEN?

  • Daffodils are enriched in nutrients on their own but in case of very poor soil, fertilizer should be added to soil.
  • A handful of bulb fertilizer or any other fertilizers like bone meal need to be applied in early spring when the shoot is first seen above the ground.
  • Provide low nitrogen fertilizer and high potash containing fertilizer if the bulb is not performing well after flowering.
  • Daffodil plants need an ample amount of water during the blooming period but it is not practical to supply water during the dormant period in the summer season. So, keep the soil dry during the dormant period.

 

b) CARE FOR DAFFODIL BULBS 

  • Daffodil bulbs do not need to be lifted every year; lifting in every three years would be sufficient.
  • If a clump isn’t flowering well, or if flowers are getting less and less, it’s obvious that the clumps have become crowded.
  • Then you should definitely lift the clumps up when the foliage turns yellow and divide these bulbs to give them a second life.

 

c) BULBS IN STORAGE

  • Once bulbs are lifted, they should be cleaned with water thoroughly and let them dry for a week.
  • Place them in an open mesh bag, similar to an onion or orange bag, in the coolest and dry spot along with good air circulation to avoid rot during storage till final planting.

 

MAJOR DISEASES AND PESTS IN DAFFODILS AND ITS REMEDIES

1) DISEASES

A) Fungal Diseases

a) Basal rot (Fusarium oxysporum F. sp. narcissi)

This is the most serious disease in daffodils since many years and is growing in intensity due to more hot summer. This chocolate brown rot could spread upwards from the base plate of a soft bulb when they are lifted so be careful on that.

Symptoms: Pinkish white fungus between affected scales, small dark spots in basal plate and yellowing of foliage & premature dying of foliage. 

Control: 

– Combination of fungicide and hot water treatment along with cultural practice is recommended.

– Apply fungicide soon after digging or before planting (within 24 to 48 hours).

– Immerse bulb in hot water with formaldehyde to destroy spores and avoids its spreading. But, use of resistant variety as far as possible is recommended.

 No photo description available.

 

b) Neck rot (Fusarium oxysporum F. sp. Narcissi)

In this disease, the rot initiates from the neck of the bulbs and spread in the body of the bulb. Beside Fusarium (major fungus), Enicillium and Botrytis also cause neck rot but slowly than Fusarium.

Symptoms: Tissue and scale of affected bulbs get softened, water-soaked and turns brown & spongy along with white mycelial growth between bulb scales.

Control measures: Same as basal rot control measure will help you to get rid of this disease too.

 

c) Smoulder (Botrytis narcissiola)

Symptoms: Emerging bulb covered in mass of grey spores and cling together as well as production of very less & poor quality blooms.

Control: Remove all previous year’s residue (Primary source of infection) and follow it with combined hot water and fungicide treatment in foliage.

 

B) Viral diseases

a) Narcissus Yellow Stripe Virus

Symptoms: Yellow or grayish green stripes on upper two-third of leaves, smaller, streaked or blotched flowers, low vigor, discoloration and distortion on leaves and flowers. 

Control: Removal of diseased plant and growing from healthy bulbs followed by controlling of hosts for transmission (aphids)

 

b) Narcissus White Streak Virus

Symptoms: Appears as purple stripe at first on tip of leaves which turns later into white and becomes necrotic, and produce smaller bulbs.

Control: Follow same procedure applied to Yellow stripe virus.

 

2. PESTS

Large Narcissus Fly (Lampetia (Merodon) equestris)

Symptoms: Tiny hole in the base plate of  freshly dug-up bulbs although bulb might be firm. But if it is left as like that during planting one could observe a big grub in the center surrounded by a mass of frass when cut open.

Control: Immerse infested bulb in hot water of 44.4°C for three hours to kill tiny larvae as soon as you dug up and follow it with deep bulb planting (10 inches) to control fly. If still the problem persists; spray insecticide trichlorfon – Dylox® a rate 2 ounces/gallon/100 feet of row as a direct stream to the base of the daffodil foliage every year.

 

3. MITES AND NEMATODES

a) Bulb scale mite (Steneotarsonemus laticeps)

Symptoms: Rot of bulb and no production of new growth, or production of discolored, stunted, and distorted new growth.

Control: Careful hot water treatment as in basal rot disease because their eggs are hard to recognize since they avoid light and hide in damaged and dead tissues.

b) Bulb and Stem Nematode (Ditylenchus dipsaci)

Symptoms: Minute, chlorotic (yellow) localized swellings in leaves and flower stems, concentric rings of brown or necrotic scale tissue in infested bulbs and separation of basal plate from the bulb. 

Control: Destroy or remove all infested bulbs and plants and treat it with hot water of 112°F. If the problem still persists, practice crop-rotation with non-bulbous plant immediately next season although its recommended normally on every three years. 

 

FACTS ABOUT DAFFODILS

– Daffodil is the common name for all the plants under the genus Narcissus, which includes jonquils, paperwhites, and others.

– Daffodils are an ideal plant for new gardeners because it does not necessitate the use of green fingers.

– Daffodils are known as ‘lent lilies’ in England.

– Daffodil is the national flower of Wales.

– Daffodils produce sap that is toxic and causes wilting if placed in the same vase with other flowers. In order to extract sap, soak them for 24 hours before mixing them with other flowers in a vase.

– According to the Daffodil Data Bank, there are at least 25 distinct daffodil types and up to 13,000 hybrids.

– Daffodils are poisonous to pets like cats and dogs.

– Daffodils are said to be synonymous with happiness, when gifted as a bouquet but if they are only given as a single flower they are supposed to reflect misfortune.

– They’re the official flower for the 10th wedding anniversary.

 

Don’t forget to share how your daffodils is doing and how did it do when you practice the learning extracted from this article? Yours comments and suggestions are highly appreciated. Happy reading and Keep learning!

 

Anusha Satyal

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