Trumpets of Spring

 

March 21, 2024



Daffodils announce the coming of springtime, heralding in the warmer days like nature’s trumpets. They can be seen planted in flowerbeds, along roadsides and in abandoned homesteads. They are usually a brilliant shade of yellow, which contrasts with the new green grasses and rainy spring skies. Daffodils are perennial bulbs. In order to bloom in the spring, the bulbs need to experience a period of cold temperatures to promote root development, which is why they don’t grow well in hot climates. Tuck them into well-draining soil in the Fall. The general rule of thumb for planting bulbs is to bury them 3 x’s deeper than the height of the bulb. This perennial is hardy and easy to grow. In fact, a daffodil field can flower for up to 50 years with adequate drainage and sunlight. There is no need to be replanted in the Fall or dug up in the summertime like other bulbs. Once they have been blooming for several years, they can benefit from being dug up and split apart to be replanted. They make great gifts to share among friends and family, especially if they hold special memories.The most common varieties are seen with all yellow flowers and bloom in early spring. These are usually “Dutch Master” and are quite hardy. Also available are yellow frills with orange centers, double white blossoms and even rare greens. They vary in bloom times during the early to mid-spring season. Some even boast a sweet fragrance. Daffodil bulbs are toxic to animals, so they’re a good choice if you have deer, rabbits, squirrels, or rodents. However, be sure you don’t have the kind of pet who would dig up the bulbs. After the flowers bloom and die in the spring, remove the faded flowers but leave the foliage intact to help rebuild the bulb for the following year. Once the leaves have turned yellow, you can cut them back, too. If you don’t like to see the yellowing leaves, you can plant annuals around them. To enjoy them as a cut flower, harvest flowers before they are fully open. The best time of day to pick them is in the early morning. They have a slimy substance inside the stems that can harm other flowers if put together in a vase. To counter that, place the cut daffodils in a cold water bath to let the stems drain then place them with other flowers. Be sure the stems aren’t recut before designing with them. If kept out of direct sunlight and the water is changed daily, they will last several days indoors. Happy Spring!

 

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