Updated/Fact-Chacked on March 1, 2022 by John
Daffodils are colourful flowers everyone likes to see in Springtime. They are a sign like newborn lambs and Easter eggs that long evenings and warmer weather is soon on its way.
The array of colour is always beautiful to behold. But you may ask yourself: ‘Do I need to plant new daffodils to increase their quantity in my garden? Or will the already planted ones grow, spread, and increase?’
The answer to do daffodils spread is yes, they do. Let’s look at how daffodils spread.
How Daffodils Spread
The way that daffodils spread is different from the ways most other plants spread. There are two ways daffodils spread. These is sexual spread (producing new, different flowers) and asexual spread (producing a clone, an exact copy).
A difference between asexual and sexual spread is that, in an asexual spread, the new bulb is not independent of the original bulb. Rather, it grows more flowers and foliage within the clump of the original bulb. Conversely, with sexual spread, the new bulb grows independently, and outside the clump of the original bulb.
The process of sexual spread is:
- The daffodils will produce seeds in the seed pods
- These will be fertilized by an outside source
- The seeds are blown away by the wind or are manually, separately planted
- New daffodils will grow where the seeds are planted
However, daffodils do not have nectar to attract pollinating insects. This further makes it difficult for daffodil pollen to be taken by pollinating insects. Also, daffodil pollen is not lightweight and so cannot be easily blown off by the wind.
Usually, you’ll need to manually plant the seeds. This is time-consuming and can take a minimum of five years for a planted seed to bloom.
The process of asexual spread is:
- A new bulb will emerge from the originally planted bulb, that is an exact clone
- This clone can, in turn, reproduce a new bulb
- All these will feed off the original ‘mother’ bulb until such a time as they are separated
You must however note that the new bulb does not have a separate life of its own. It’s rather affixed to the original bulb. Flowers can become smaller and smaller from all bulbs until they are eventually separated.
How to Increase Daffodils Spread
- Regularly feed your daffodils with a high potassium fertilizer in the Spring such as liquid tomato feed.
- Daffodils love coffee! Well, coffee grounds at least. The coffee grounds attract earthworms (good for the plant) and detract pests (bad for the plant). They are also packed with nitrogen and help provide the daffodils with nutrients.
- Plant the bulbs deep enough into the soil and far enough apart to give them space to thrive.
- Daffodils near trees and shrubs may struggle for light, water and nutrients. If overcrowded, replant them further apart in the summer.
- Cut the bulb and manually transplant it.
Daffodils spread naturally in two different ways. However, there are a number of different things you can do to help boost their spread in your garden to get a beautiful array of colour each Spring.
John Green is a 46-year-old graphic designer living in Durham. John is RHS level 3 certified and owns an allotment in Durham.