Keith Kridler, Texas

species daffodils/naturalizing daffodils

April 4, 2008

Categories: Daffodil Types, Planting, Soil, Species

Download PDF

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas 100 miles east of Dallas. We have sandy loam to heavy red clay soils about winter planting zone 8. Elevation above sea level 333 feet to 370 feet or just over 100 meters above sea level and 300 miles north of Houston Texas and the tropical Gulf of Mexico. We have 240 frost free growing days on average but I have seen years with 330 frost free growing days on occasion. Normal rainfall 48 inches or 122 CM year evenly spaced through out all 12 months (in a good year).
I was thinking Niels was the person asking about species daffodils. But again even asking about planting drifts of daffodils the first thing we need to know is basic geographic location and elevation.
We need to know winter planting zone information to even see if some of the species or different varieties of daffodils will survive for you!
In the middle deep south where I live field grown daffodils begin blooming end of November and will bloom till end of April. THESE SAME VARIETIES OF DAFFODILS IF MOVED TO SAY NORTHERN OHIO WILL ALL BLOOM DURING A 6 WEEK PERIOD!!! IF they survive the winters:-)
Soil types are critical for many newer varieties but even more important is the drainage of the soils the bulbs are planted in. Most daffodil bulbs want to be dry during dormancy but then you have cyclaminius, tazettas and some jonquils…
I have thousands of Pencrebar, n. Canalcaniculatus, N. recurvus that multiply, put up foliage but will NEVER bloom in Texas!
Same goes for a LOT of other named varieties. The doubles Texas, Mary and Irene Copeland and some others ALWAYS fail! MOST of our doubles failed to bloom this year. Some have NEVER opened blooms in 20 years.
Daffodils also depend on sunlight to bloom in naturalized drifts. We saw beautiful shots of species trumpets blooming in and around trees but you need X number of hours of sunshine to produce bulb growth and bloom for next year. It ALL depends on the types of bulbs you plant and the type of trees you plant under as to whether the bulbs will produce enough food before the trees leaf out and shade the bulbs! You NEED to have short grass/weed areas around the bulbs from first leaf break till they die down in summer!!!
You can naturalize bulbs on the south sides of solid walls of evergreens or tall building walls or solid fences here in the south but you won’t get the blooms in later years with bulbs planted on the north sides of thick evergreens or north sides of tall walls that shade the bulbs as the bulbs will be dormant before they get full sun on their leaves.
I have taught Texas Master Gardener classes now in five different counties in the last two years about how to plant and grow/take care of Daffodils and other bulbs. I SWEAR if I EVER meet Martha Stewart in person I will probably be arrested for slapping the woman. She has done more HARM to the growing and caring for daffodils than ANY single person in the USA. KK

4 responses to “species daffodils/naturalizing daffodils”

  1. Niels Benatar says:

    Dear Keith,
    Niels here, originally from Westchester in Los Angeles, but now pretty firmly planted in Braunschweig, Germany, which is 1/3 of the way between Hannover and Berlin.  I cannot give you ANY of the kind of detailed information you have about soil type, climate and rainfall.  But, I can give you other information.  I’ve only planted 875 bulbs last fall:  250 N. obvallaris, 450 Arctic Gold and 175 Standard Value, then — only because I couldn’t resist the temptation — a few Tete-a-Tetes and some Topolinos.
    In an e-mail I sent out to daffnet the other day, I noted the calendar week during which the first daffodils began to bloom.  This year, everything is blooming about four to six weeks earlier than usual.  The “microclimate” of our small backyard (property size is only 800 square meters, with the house on the lot too) seems to show its effects as well:  The first N. obvallaris to come out in full bloom and to grow the highest are in moist and mossy grass on the eastern part of our property, receiving maybe only three to five hours of sun each day.  The next ones out to bloom are on the southern and western part of the backyard, where there is a slight slope and probably good drainage.  I’m seeing the same sort of “differential” blooming and growth habit in the Arctic Gold, which is coming out in goldenrod yellow like clockwork.  Standard Value has only thrust its leaves out by about six to eight inches and I suspect they will begin flowering in two to three weeks.  I’m in no rush, since everything is already pretty yellow.
    I’m an absolute novice, who became interested in gardening work (after never understanding why others could ever do so before) only two years ago.  I’ve “always” loved daffodils, even the name, ever since childhood in Southern California.  For whatever reason, I’m more drawn to trumpet daffodils and species, no idea why.  The pictures shown in the forum the other day by Jackie (Pseudonarcissus lobularis in Wales and other parts of England) are the ones that I like more than any others…for there naturalness.  I think I’ve already reached the point (of no return) where I might one day even take a guided tour of the Iberian peninsula to visit daffodils in the wild!!  I only hope my wife and kids will understand…
    Otherwise:  I’m 52 years old and make my other living as a hand surgeon specialized in the care of kids with so-called congenital hand anomalies.  If you check , you can get an idea of my other interests.
    So, I appreciate all help and advice, but have to admit to be a real beginner.
    Best regards,

  2. Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee Becky Fox Matthews says:

    Keith, you must have seen the spring issue when the arrangement on the cover included the foliage!  (Martha, shame on you!)  ;->


    I SWEAR if I EVER meet Martha Stewart in person I will probably be arrested for slapping the woman. She has done more HARM to the growing and caring for daffodils than ANY single person in the USA.

  3. Sandra Stewart says:

    Well now y’all all know that Martha wouldn’t want to get the word out about the proper way to treat daffodils. If she did, the ordinary person would soon have all they wanted and wouldn’t be tempted to buy new ones every year 😉
    I thought they show the daffs with foliage outside the USA?
    The daffs are waning fast here in Alabama as they all decided to bloom at the same time this year. We’re still in a drought but getting enough rain to raise the fire ants and make me have to mow grass. Still can’t get rid of all the fescue so I guess I need to get a pony.
    Bright Blessings to you all!

    —- Becky Fox Matthews < title=> wrote: Keith, you must have seen the spring issue when the arrangement on the cover included the foliage! (Martha, shame on you!) ;->

  4. John Beck says:

    Has anyone tried slicing the bulb as I hear is done with hyacinths?
    Supposedly th e blossoms last forever with t he middle of the bulb and roots intact…

    > Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2008 18:43:21 -0700