Darrell Blackwelder column: Daffodils are in full bloom

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 5, 2022

Daffodils are in full bloom across the county and it’s one of the best blooms in years for the spring-flowering bulb. The bulbs seem to be everywhere, not only complementing our landscapes, but also sprinkled the along roadways, abandoned houses and even forests throughout the county. The durability of the bulb makes it a favorite for home gardeners. The bulb seems capable of surviving on total neglect for decades. One of the major reasons for the bulb’s longevity is that the bulbs themselves and their leaves are highly poisonous. Squirrels, voles, mice and other potential bulb feeders avoid this bulb. Daffodils also have no major insect or disease problems. As the blooms fade, keep daffodil leaves as healthy as possible. You may want to sprinkle a light fertilizer application to encourage next season’s bloom formation. As summer weather arrives, the leaves will gradually wilt, turn yellow and fall. At this time, cut the declining leaves back to neaten the landscape. Daffodil bulbs should be planted in the fall. Existing daffodils can also be moved to different locations. Dig the bulbs when dormant and gently pull apart to separate. Be gentle and be careful not to damage tender bulbs. Relocate them in an area that is well-drained with plenty of light. Go to https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/all/narcissus-spp/ for more detailed information.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu.