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How to grow daffodils

A volunteer mulches the rose garden border alongside a wall at Polesden Lacey, Surrey, with a big clump of daffodils blooming alongside
In daffodil season, mulching the rose garden border at Polesden Lacey, Surrey. | © National Trust Images/Mark Wigmore

The daffodil is a classic spring flower, its bright yellow blooms bringing a cheerful sign of spring to gardens from January through to May. Take expert tips from National Trust gardeners to achieve a better daffodil display in your own garden.

Top tips for growing daffodils

Plant in drifts
To get a natural display, scatter the bulbs over the area that you want to plant to create drifts and then plant using a trowel or bulb planter.
Time your mowing
In grassy areas do a last mow at the end of October so when the new foliage starts to show it doesn’t get mown over or trampled.
Don't cut back foliage too soon
When they have finished flowering, let the foliage die down naturally so that energy can be stored in the bulbs for a good display next year.
Plan for next year
If there are gaps in your displays, take photos or leave canes as markers to remind you where to plant more in the autumn.

The daffodil calendar

Find out more about when different types of daffodils bloom throughout winter and spring with this handy daffodil calendar.

Daffodils at Powis Castle, Powys, Wales, in spring.
Daffodils at Powis Castle, Powys, Wales, in spring. | © National Trust Images/Mark Bolton

January to February

Daffodil ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ is the earliest trumpet daffodil. If planted in a sheltered position, it might even flower for Christmas, certainly from January or early February.

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Daffodils are great for ensuring a good, lengthy spell of colour which in some gardens can start as early as February, and continue through to the end of April, depending on the variety.

A quote by David BouchNational Trust Head Gardener at Cotehele
Gardener working in the walled garden at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Get gardening

Our gardeners are on hand with ideas for your garden, plot or window box. From planting veg to tackling weeds, they’ve got all the important topics covered.

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