You know you have a daffodil expert in your midst when you find out he planted 10,000 of the cheerful spring flowers on his property.
Let’s hit Doug Delano up for advice now, before it’s bulb planting season again and the Level Green founding partner disappears for the next planting marathon.
What types does he plant? What are the best daffodil bulbs? Any pro planting tips?
He’s got you covered.
The Best Daffodil Bulbs, According to Doug
Delano likes what he calls “tried and true” daffodil varieties — flowers that have stood the test of time and delighted generations of gardeners.
These old favorites are also usually cheaper than newer varieties, he says.
A few of his favorites:
Two-toned yellow blooms are an impressive five inches across. Sniff, and you’re rewarded with a vanilla fragrance.
The mid-spring blooms are great for cutting and grow to 18 inches tall.
This beauty has won multiple awards over the last 100 years.
Unlike most daffodils, it does well in shaded areas.
Its white petals surround a small golden cup edged in red. The mid-to-late spring blooms grow 18-20 inches tall.
Another award-winning daffodil, this one will remind you of a sunny side up egg, with shallow yellow cups and crisp white petals.
The early spring blooms grow 16 inches tall.
This one’s a stunner, with giant white blossoms atop tall, sturdy stems.
The trumpet-shaped daffodil opens as pale yellow, then quickly becomes snowy white, with flowers five inches across.
The mid-spring blooms grow 16-18 inches tall.
A snowy white daffodil that’s been around since 1916, this beauty produces 2-3 fragrant blossoms per stem.
It blooms in late spring and grows 14 inches tall.
This poet namesake offers fragrant blooms more than three inches across, with snow-white petals cradling vibrant orange cups.
The early to mid spring blooms grow 18 inches tall.
How to Spot the Best Daffodil Bulbs
The bigger the bulb, the bigger the flower — and the bigger the impact, Delano says.
But size isn’t the only consideration.
Other things to look for:
Height. Daffodils range in height from a petite six inches to an impressive three feet tall. Be sure to check before you buy. You don’t want to plant hundreds of bulbs then discover they’ll be hidden behind your taller plants or shrubs.
Bloom time. Some daffodils bloom in early spring, others mid or late season. If you plant all three types, you’ll have cheerful blooms all season.
Doug’s Best Daffodil Bulb Tips
Plant daffodil bulbs in the fall—about 2 to 4 weeks before the ground freezes.
Plant them in plenty of sun. The more sun, the stronger the plant will be.
Plant the bulbs three times deeper than the bulb's height. A typical daffodil bulb is 2-3 inches in height, so you’d plant it 6-9 inches below the soil. Sprinkle a little bulb fertilizer in the hole during planting.
Fertilize the plants when they start to bloom in early spring by sprinkling granular fertilizer around the plants.
Once the blooms have faded, don’t cut off the foliage. It’s tempting, once it starts to look shriveled and brown. But it needs to die back on its own to generate energy for blooming next year. Plant daffodil bulbs among other plants that will cover up the browning foliage.
You can dig up the daffodil bulbs and divide them to stretch them farther.
“It’s not worth the labor cost if you’re a commercial property,” Delano says, “but it’s a good tip for homeowners.”
Good news: Your daffodil bulbs are safe from hungry deer and rodents. Apparently, the bulbs taste terrible.
Plant them for the future.
“It’s money well spent,” Delano says. “It can pay off for generations if you plant them on a property that stays in the family. Your kids and grandkids will still be enjoying them.”
Share the bounty. Delano cuts many of his daffodils for bouquets for lucky friends and family. His dad used to do the same thing with his prized roses. It’s in his blood.
Delighted by Daffodils? Let Level Green Do the Dirty Work
Want the best daffodil bulbs for a stunning display on your commercial property?
Choose a landscaping company where one of the head guys is a daffodil super fan.
We’ll do all the digging — you just look forward to the spring spectacle.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online for a virtual meeting.
We’d love to hear from you.