Daffodils are the flowers, which symbolize friendship and their popularity is due to their incomparable beauty. Daffodils are part of the genus Narcissus and with their combination of a trumpet-shape and a star-shape, they are truly magnificent. Often the front part, in the shape of a trumpet, has a contrasting colour to the background part (the star). Daffodils have about 50 different species and plenty of hybrids. In a moderate climate Daffodils are among the first buds to flourish in spring. They usually bloom in clusters.
They originate from the Mediterranean region, the Middle East and Northern Africa. Daffodils are typically yellow and white, white and orange, yellow and orange and pink and lime-green. Daffodils have a middle part which looks like a trumpet with petals around it. White Daffodils are often grown in outdoor gardens and indoors during Christmas. The size of Daffodils varies between blooms of 5 inches on stems of 2 feet to half-inch blooms on stems of 2 inches. Certain species are named miniature Daffodils – they are mostly used in gardening competitions. There is no specific difference between the words Daffodil and Narcissus. The latter is the Latin name for what we usually call a Daffodil. Daffodils were extensively grown in ancient Greece. In America the Daffodil was established as one of the must-have flowers in every garden. The Romans believed that the flower’s sap had healing powers, but in fact the sap irritates the skin with its crystals.
These flowers are grown from bulbs perennially. They bloom early in spring, in big clusters. One can see them on lawns and hills, covering the whole area with their yellow blooms. The general rule for planting Daffodils is that the depth has to be thrice their height. Plant large bulbs about six to eight inches deep in the soil, the medium ones – between three and six inches and the small ones – about two/three inches deep. The soil is what provides protection for the bulbs, otherwise they can break easily. If you ignore this fact and don’t plant them deep enough, the stems will bend quickly.
So how does one grow Daffodils?
• Pick a sunny spot in the garden with a slightly acidic and well-drained soil.
• Plant the Daffodils in such a way that their pointed ends are at least twice as deep as the height of the bulb.
• If you are planting in a sandy soil, place the bulbs deeper.
• Avoid fertilizers with a high level of nitrogen.
• While the flowers are growing, they will need plenty of water.
• After the first Daffodils bloom, don’t cut their leaves until they turn yellow, which is around late May or in June.
• After that, dig the bulbs, wash them and allow them to dry properly. Place them in onion sacks and choose the coolest place to hang them.
• As perennials, Daffodils like to be watered with about an inch per week during their active growth period (March to May).
• The best for the bulbs is a well-drained and rich organic soil.
Daffodils can be grown in the following colours: white, red, pink, yellow, orange or green. Different hybrids have been created in order to produce beautiful combinations of colours. In Western cultures Daffodils are symbols of vanity, while in Eastern ones they stand for good fortune and wealth. The Daffodil is Wales’ national flower, traditionally worn on St. David’s Day on 1st March.