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Daffodils (Narcissus) are assigned by the botanists of the family Amaryllis (Amaryllidaceae). The genus comprises 30 to 40 species, however, by breeding, which began in Europe as early as the 18th century, numerous varieties have emerged, so that one can assume that about 24 000 cultural forms (hybrids). These are divided into eleven groups, depending on their starting point. For example, a distinction is made between trumpet daffodils, tazettes and cyclamen daffodils. The natural range of the wild species is located in southwestern Europe and northwest Africa with a distribution focus on the Iberian Peninsula. Only a few species are originally found in the coastal area of ​​the eastern Mediterranean.

While most species have only a very small distribution area, the range of the wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) extends throughout Western Europe. Their natural habitat is light forests, meadows and stony mountain slopes. In Germany, among other things, it can be found in the Eifel National Park. The French town of Gérardmer in the Vosges is also known for its daffodils.

Daffodil meadow Gérardmer

In the spring, thousands of daffodils bloom in the meadows around Gérardmer in the Vosges

Daffodils are perennial, herbaceous plants with an onion as a persistence organ. From the bulbs usually drive three to four basal, linealisch to belt-shaped leaves. Grown-up, these usually tower over the flower stem. The stature height is between five and 60 centimeters. The leafless inflorescence includes depending on the species and variety a single to 20 flowers. They are each protected by a dry bract. The hermaphrodite single flower consists of two different parts, the main crown with six individual petals and the Nebenkrone, which can be cup, cup or trumpet-shaped and has different lengths. In many species, the flowers exude a scent. The flower color ranges from white to yellow to orange.

Tazette Daffodils (Narcissus)

Tazetten Narcissus (Narcissus) with its yellow flower wreath and the orange crown are also a popular vase jewelry

Flowering time is among the cultivated in the garden types and varieties from February to May. However, there are also some wild species that bloom in the fall and winter, respectively. From the flower develops after fertilization a dreikammerige capsule fruit, which contains numerous seeds. After seed maturity, all above-ground parts of the plant, ie leaves and flower stem, die and only the onion survives on the narcissus. Daffodils contain various alkaloids that are poisonous. The sap that exits, for example, when you cut the flower stalks, can cause skin irritation.


Daffodils are popular and widely used in the gardens spring flowers. They can be placed in the sunny bed with any normal garden soil, as well as in pots and boxes, furthermore, they are already being driven as house plants in the late winter. In the bed, they can be combined with other bulbous plants such as crocuses (Crocus), snowdrops (Galanthus), grape hyacinths (Muscari) and tulips (Tulipa). Also early flowering perennials such as lungwort (Pulmonaria) and lenten roses (Helleborus) come as a bed partner in question. In addition, many varieties of daffodils can be planted in lawns and meadows, where they then become wild - that is, they continue to spread over daughter onions and form larger stocks over the years.


The bulbs of daffodils are preferably set in September. But it is basically a planting into the winter possible, as long as the soil is frost-free. However, according to experience, early-planted and thus well-rooted onions survive severe periods of frost better than the specimens that were late set. The planting depth for the onions is usually 10 to 15 centimeters. In some botanical species, where the bulbs are quite small, the planting depth should be correspondingly lower. As fuselage gel: The planting hole should be twice as deep as the onion is high. The planting distance is 12 to 15 centimeters. For heavy soils you should mix some sand into the soil, but daffodils are not so sensitive to moisture as most other bulbous flowers. They also become faster in autumn, if you thoroughly water the onions after planting.

Yellow Trumpet Daffodils (Narcissus)

Yellow trumpet daffodils (Narcissus) are spring flowers and the ideal image of the classic daffodil

care Tips

Narcissi make few demands on the location and are accordingly easy to care for. However, the soil should not be too dry for a long time. After flowering, remove the flowering stems before the seed pods form, as this would only unnecessarily weaken the plants and shorten their lifespan. The foliage, on the other hand, remains standing until it has yellowed.Thus, the nutrients contained in the leaves can be re-stored in the onion. If you have planted daffodils in the lawn or in a meadow, you should wait with the mowing of the area until the narcissus leaves have withered. In early spring, when the leaves of the plants expire, you can provide daffodils with mature compost (three to five liters per square meter). Also recommended is the administration of a phosphate-reduced, fast-dissolving complete fertilizer directly after flowering. If daffodils become rotten after a few years, remove the bulbs from the soil after they have yellowed, carefully separate the onions on the onion and replace them.


Daffodils can be propagated by sowing and by daughter bulbs. Since the seed production can weaken the mother plant and it takes up to seven years for the seedlings to flower for the first time, this form of propagation is only relevant to breeders. It is easier, as already described under care tips, to divide the onions and to put new.

Diseases and pests

A typical pest is the daffodil fly, which is among the hoverflies. She lays her eggs on the plant, the larvae migrate into the ground and then eat themselves to the inside of the onion. There they feed on the already created leaves and flower stem. The eaten onion is faulty. The treatment of infested bulbs is difficult and only if the infestation is detected early in the summer. So experts recommend a so-called hot water treatment: The onions are removed from the soil and dipped for two hours in 44° C hot water. The larvae die then. The onions are then left to dry thoroughly and stored until the autumn dark and cool. Then they are planted back in the bed. Feeding damage of vole mice, which are always a problem in bulbous plantations, are of no importance for narcissi, as the rodents spurn the poisonous onions. One disease that narcissi occasionally suffer from is onion basal rot. It is caused by a fungus (Fusarium). Fungal infected onions rot and their leaves turn yellow early. It is important to remove the diseased onions as quickly as possible and dispose of them with the household waste. Since the fungus survives for years in the soil, you should plant for about five years at this point no new daffodils.

Video Board: Mark Ronson - Daffodils (Audio) ft. Kevin Parker.

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