Narcissus plants are among the most widespread bulbous plants in Europe, although in fact on our continent they also exist in the wild, in hilly and mountainous forests.
Narcissus bulbous plants come from Europe, and have been cultivated as ornamental flowers for practically centuries; in fact the varieties of narcissus grown in the garden are mainly hybrids, selected for the size, the colors or the perfume of the flowers.
The narcissus is a bulbous plant, therefore it develops leaves and flowers starting from a large underground bulb, of dimensions generally close to 5-7 cm in diameter or even more; most daffodils bloom at the end of winter, producing foliage flowers first, so in order to enjoy the flowering it is necessary that they are buried in autumn, or at the latest in January.
The foliage is ribbon-shaped, erect, and reaches 25-30 cm in height; the flowers bloom single, or sometimes gathered in 2-3 specimens, at the apex of erect stems, slightly fleshy; leaves and stems are light green, sometimes even blue-green.
Most of the flowers have a very particular shape, they have an outer crown, formed by petals called lacinias, usually light in color, and by an inner trombone-shaped crown, generally of a darker color. The wild daffodils are white or yellow, the hybrids are predominantly of a similar color, but there are hybrids of pink and orange narcissus. Among the many daffodils selected by man there are double-flowered species, with a particularly expanded central crown, particularly fragrant, or even very small in size.
The spread of daffodils in the garden is certainly due to the simplicity of cultivation; as we said before narcissus bulbs they must be buried before winter, or at the latest in January, in areas where the winter climate is still mild, to avoid exposing the bulbs to dangerous frosts.
They are grown in the ground or in pots, using a fairly soft and rich substrate; they also adapt easily to the common garden soil, provided it does not contain high percentages of peat; the bulbs are planted at a depth equal to their diameter, or even a little more.
Generally the specimens grown in pots are placed at a slightly greater depth.
They are rustic plants, which do not require care during the autumn and winter; towards the end of winter, when the days begin to be warm, the daffodils begin to produce flowers; generally they do not need watering during the period of vegetative development, since the climate is naturally rainy or however humid; they can instead need watering in the period in which they are developing the foliage, or in late spring.
When the foliage dries up we will have to suspend any watering and allow the plant to go into vegetative rest until the following year.
So generally from March to April, until the following March, our daffodils will not need any care, since they bear frost without problems, and hot and summer drought nothing can on the bulbs in vegetative rest.
Narcissus - Narcissus: Daffodils flowering from year to year
As with the other bulbous plants, the daffodils also store what they need for the following year in their large bulb; this material is stored in the bulb thanks to chlorophyll photosynthesis, which is practiced by the green parts of the plant, and therefore largely by foliage; so if we, after the flowers have wilted, tired of having bulbous plants in the flowerbeds, now scarcely decorative, we will decide to cut the foliage, in this way we will get to have no flowering the following year. Instead, it is very important to take care of the foliage of the daffodils, even when the flowers are completely withered, and fertilize the bulbs with fertilizer for flowering plants, watering them if the soil should dry up too much.
Also with regard to the bulbs grown in pots remember to let them develop until the leaves begin to dry up naturally; only then will we let the soil dry up and if we want we can dig up the bulbs until the autumn.
Daffodils are often planted in large spots, which widen from year to year; periodically it is advisable to clear the soil between the bulbs, removing the smaller and weaker cloves, so that they do not go to subtract nutrients from the larger bulbs. When we do this we add to the soil a slow release granular fertilizer, specific for flowering plants, in order to enrich the soil.