Intro: Daffodills, also called Narcissus, are hardy flowering plants that mostly flower in spring, but several species (such as Narcissus tazetta, commonly called paperwhites) flower in Autumn. All daffodil flowers have a trumpet surrounded by six floral leaves (outer three are sepals, and the inner three are petals). Most common daffodil flower colors are yellow, white or a mixture of the two. The daffodil flower has a pleasant sweet smell. Daffodils are great flowering plants for balcony container gardens.
Scientific Name: Narcissus spp.
Plant Type: Perennial flower
Light: Full sun
Fertilizer: Fertilize daffodil flowers in the fall (best time because this is when root growth begins) or spring. In the fall, use a slow-release granular fertilizer low in nitrogen and higher in phosphorous and potash. Use a liquid fertilizer in the spring, as slow-release fertilizers won’t have time to break down quickly enough for the container plant to utilize it.
Temperature: Daffodil flowers grow best in 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler the temperature, the longer the blooms will last.
Pests and Diseases: Insect pests and disease rarely affect the daffodil plant.
Propagation: Daffodil flowers are generally grown from bulbs. Make sure bulbs feel heavy. Bulbs with spots or those that feel too light may have an insect problem. Plant the bulbs in plant containers at a depth twice the size of the bulb’s height (and make sure the tip faces up). Plant in the fall, as they will need to stay dormant during the cold winter before they grow in the spring.
Misc. Info: Be careful when working with the daffodil flower, as some gardeners are allergic to them, which result in skin irritations. Remove dead flowers and leaves, and once the plant is completely yellow, cut the plant off at the ground. The bulbs will last in the ground in the garden for three years. You can also dig up the daffodil bulbs and keep them in a cool, dry place until replanting in the balcony garden.
In the West, this beautiful flower is a symbol of vanity. The Ancient Greeks believed that the gods changed the remains of a dead man into this flower. The vain man Narcissus saw his reflection in water and never left. In China it is a symbol of wealth and good fortune, and it is also a sign of love and the Chinese New Year.