Old House Gardens
From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs

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Page 7 of Heirloom Daffodil Bulbs       << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
“Pre-eminent” and “breath-taking,” Scott Ogden raves about this “refined, modern Campernelle” in Garden Bulbs for the South. It’s “stunningly fragrant,” he says, and — maybe best of all — a few bulbs “will multiply tenfold in three or four years.” With 2-3 neatly rounded flowers per stem, its mid-late blooms extend the jonquil season’s joys. 7 Y-Y, 18-20”, zones 6a-8b(10bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
DA51Add to basket:10/$1625/$3750/$69100/$128250/$288
N. x medioluteus, TWIN SISTERS, 1597        Web-Only
“Generally knowne everywhere,” wrote the great herbalist John Gerard in 1597 about this fragrant wildflower he called Primrose Peerless. Today its many folk names which include Loving Couples, Cemetery Ladies, and April Beauty attest to its wide-spread popularity and endurance.With two blooms per stem, white with tiny citron cups, it’s also wonderfully late-blooming. Formerly N. biflorus, 13 W-Y, 12-14”, zones 6a-8b(10bWC), from Texas. Chart to compare.
DA44Add to basket:3/$11.505/$18.5010/$3425/$77.5050/$144
TWINK, 1925        Web-Only & Rarest
This Jazz Age classic has long, rippling petals of primrose-to-cream flaring jauntily out of a ruffled center of orange and gold. Hardy north through zone 5, it’s especially well-loved in the South because, unlike many other doubles, it opens reliably even there. 4 Y-O, mid-season, 18-20”, zones 5a-8b(10bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
DA52Add to basket:3/$155/$2410/$44.5025/$101Limit 25, please.
VAN SION, 1620
Aka ‘Telamonius Plenus’, this ancient flower is “the most important of all doubles” (A.M. Kirby, 1907). It’ s also the double most often found at old homesites, multiplying without care. And it’s the most confusing. In its first year or a perfect spot, its doubling is neatly contained within the trumpet. Most years, though, it all explodes into a wild froth of green and gold. See what we mean and learn more here. 4 Y-Y, 14-16”, zones 4a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
DA39Add to basket:5/$9.5010/$1825/$4150/$76100/$141
W.P. MILNER, 1869
Short and sweet, this quaint little elf dates back to the dawn of the Victorian daffodil renaissance. Its nodding trumpet and twisted petals are a soft, silvery yellow that seems to be the embodiment of spring sunshine. An added treat for inquiring noses is its light cowslip fragrance. 1W-W, 6-8”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
DA45Add to basket:10/$12.5025/$2950/$54100/$100250/$225
WHITE LADY, 1897        Rarest
This “regal beauty” and “good doer” is “the daffodil I now prefer to all others” – so wrote Mrs. Francis King in 1921, and since she was a founder of the Garden Club of America and author of nine popular garden books, that’s high praise indeed. With sparkling petals and a ruffled yellow cup, ‘White Lady’ is old-fashioned but full of life. 3W-Y, 16-18”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
DA47Add to basket:3/$10.505/$16.5010/$3325/$75.5050/$140

WHY GROW DAFFODILS? Daffodils are permanent, increase eagerly, and are wonderfully deer-and-rodent-proof.

HISTORY – Native mainly to the Mediterranean, narcissus were grown by the Egyptians and Greeks and brought into English gardens by the 1200s. While thousands of new tulips and hyacinths were being developed, the number of daffodils grew slowly. Maybe 50 date to before 1700, another 350 by 1860. But then a couple of British enthusiasts set to work and from 1860 to 1900 roughly 1000 new varieties were introduced. By 1930 there were another 6000, making the early 20th century a Golden Age. Only a fraction survive today.

HEAT-LOVING DAFFODILS – If you garden where winters are warm, see our “Daffodils for the South and Warm West” for expert guidance.

DAFFODILS AS CUT FLOWERS – Did you know daffodils will last much longer in bouquets if you cut them at the right stage and let their gooey sap drain out before adding them to the vase? To learn more, see our Bulbs as Cut Flowers page.

DAFFODIL ARCHIVES – For customer tips and raves, the stories behind the bulbs, links and books, history, news, and more, see our Daffodil Newsletter Archives.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS – Though many sources say they’ll ALL thrive from zones 3 through 8, hardiness really varies depending on their ancestry. And many do well in zones 9 and 10 of the West Coast. Our zone recommendations will guide you. Daffodils like well-drained (but not bone-dry) soil and full sun, but they adapt to light shade pretty well. In the South they welcome afternoon shade and dry soil in summer. Bulb size varies widely, with and heirloom bulbs often being smaller. We always get the largest bulbs we can.

PLANTING & CARE – Plant in mid-fall when soil cools; earlier is better than later. If necessary, store till then in open bags in a cool, dry spot.

Choose a sunny to lightly shaded site. Full sun is best in the North, but the further South you garden, the more shade you can give them.

Plant in well-drained soil. Avoid or improve clay soil, or grow in raised beds. Dig down three times the height of the bulbs, about 6-8 inches for standard varieties, 4-6 for smaller varieties such as ‘W.P. Milner’, and plant with the narrow ends up, about 6 inches apart from center to center (or closer for a lush look). For each bulb scratch a tablespoon of bulb fertilizer into the surface (slow-release 10-10-10 is ideal). Water, and keep moist through the fall while the bulbs are growing new roots, through the winter if the soil doesn't freeze, and through the spring at least till blooming is finished.

Re-fertilize lightly every spring and fall. After bloom, remove the spent blossoms but allow foliage to yellow completely (to feed the bulbs for next year’s bloom) before removing it. IN THE SOUTH, keep soil dry when soil warms up after blooming and through the summer to avoid disease problems.

Deer, rodents, and most other pests leave daffodils alone, but if some of yours mysteriously fail to appear in the spring, visit our Daffodil Bulb Fly page to learn about the likely culprit.

With good care daffodils will multiply, making an increasingly beautiful display every year. When decreased bloom indicates overcrowding, dig and divide after foliage yellows.

To return to the beginning of Daffodils, click here.

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