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Category Archives: Narcissus Care

Planting Narcissus Bulbs

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Planting Narcissus Bulbs

Planting Narcissus Bulbs

Planting Narcissus bulbs is easy! Narcissus plants require very little care. They are completely drought tolerant, needing only winter rains to survive. Narcissus bulbs are great for container gardening or planting in the landscape. Plant narcissus bulbs August through December.

Common Names: Tazetta Daffodils, Miniature Daffodils

Plant Family: Amaryllis (Amaryllidoideae)

Native To: Mediterranean region, Mid-east, China, Pacific Northwest (USA)

Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Hardiness: 0°F

Garden Planting: Any soil is suitable. Plant bulbs of the same variety in groups; Dig a hole with a shovel about 5-6” deep, and 8-10” across. Mix in granular all-purpose fertilizer, wood ash or both prior to planting is not necessary, but can be beneficial for current and future seasons. Plant 6 to 12 bulbs (depending on bulb size) spread evenly apart in each hole, covering tops of bulbs with at least 4” of soil. Tops of bulbs are the narrow end or may even have sprouts showing. A layer of mulch on top of soil will enhance performance and reduce the need for weeding. Each group of bulbs should be a foot or more apart for best effect.


Containers: Plant in containers in a similar fashion, using ordinary potting soil, employing standard watering and fertilizing practices. It is best to leave the pots dry during the summer. Move to partial shade or even full shade while they are dormant, as pots can get very hot on all sides during the summer. Hence it is best not to plant bulbs directly against the side of the container, especially if one is using plastic pots. Bulbs can be cooked on hot days. Large, deep tubs are ideal for bulbs as there is then plenty of root space and the option of planting annuals on top, after the bulb is dormant and leaves have dried up.


Sunlight & Water: They will grow anywhere but full shade. Six hours of direct sunlight or more will reward you with the best flowering display. These varieties are native to Mediterranean dry summer climates and perform best in similar locations. They are excellent for Xeriscaping (drought tolerant landscapes). Plant them in the fall, never needing water, other than the winter rains to provide moisture! They will naturalize returning year after year.  With adequate sunlight and left dry in the summer, a planting of these bulbs can easily outlive any of us.


Dormancy: Narcissi are summer dormant. They flower in fall and winter after the rains begin and some varieties bloom as late as early spring. They grow green foliage in winter and spring. Growth is activated by moisture and cooler temperatures. Foliage dies back after the last rains of late spring and early summer, as the soil dries and temperatures warm.