growing daffodils in my garden

by Sharon Santoni
growing daffodils in my garden

At this time of year, when I share pictures of the daffodils in my garden, in flowers all over the lawn, I always receive emails asking about how that works. So here are a few tips, sharing what I have learned over the years.

growing daffodils in my garden

Why did I plant them in the lawn?

When we first moved to this house, the garden was pretty simple, and the only existing beds contained nothing but daffodils and snowdrops. I let them bloom our first spring here and then dug them all up and replanted them in the lawn. The snowdrops are planted beneath the huge magnolia, while the daffodils were planted in three ‘clouds’ in different positions in the garden.

If I had left them in the flower beds, I couldn’t have planted anything else because the bulbs were so numerous and so dense.

growing daffodils in my garden

How many are there?

I have never counted, but I guess at the time I moved several hundred bulbs, …. that was 25 years ago, so there are probably well over a thousand plants today.


Are they difficult to plant

Nope, easy as pie! I lifted the faded daffodils once they had finished blooming and were dying back. Using a sharp, flat spade, I made a 6″ or 15cm deep cut into the lawn, pried open the cut with the spade, dropped a couple of bulbs into the gap and then let it close again. That easy.


How long do they bloom for?

Our blooming season lasts for about 3 weeks.

home with magnolia

What is the downside of this natural planting?

There are two things that may bother some people. One is that you have to let the leaves die back before you cut them. This takes about a month, and during that time the grass around the daffodils is growing longer, and the plant’s leaves are fading to beige. Once you decide to cut the leaves and mow the grass, you’ll find yourself with a patch of yellow lawn, because the grass is light deprived. This will last for about 10 days. I have no remedy for either of these issues, we don’t mind, and we accept it as the price to pay.

magnolia tree

If you could choose, would you do it again?

Yes, I really love this bold splash of colour, that coincides with our magnolia and tells us that spring is about to get going. The only thing I’d change would be to plant several different bulb varieties, to prolong the flowering season.


How about you?!

I’d love to know if you do this too and if you have any tricks for living with daffodils on the lawn.

sharons garden

38 comments

Patricia Hawkes March 27, 2023 - 2:46 pm

If you live in France, try buying your bulbs from Holland – or go to the UK by car in October and bring back sack loads of several varieties where they are so cheap – in comparison to purchasing them in France where you get about 25 bulbs for €15 !

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lori everett March 28, 2023 - 6:41 pm

maybe you don’t have the variety and extended time of bloom, but the creamy subtle soft colors are exquisite. I love them in the lawn and I agree they are worth leaving them to die out to let them multiple.

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Vicky from Athens March 29, 2023 - 12:34 am

Sharon, your daffodils are just gorgeous! Mine are loosely planted in a large natural area and I add to them each year. I want them to look like they just happened and not like something I mapped out. Your garden is always treat for the eyes and soul! Thank you for sharing!!

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Jan Dusek March 28, 2023 - 7:10 pm

Thank you for sharing your lovely spring garden!

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Kathleen Westman March 28, 2023 - 7:59 pm

You lifted the daffodils once the leaves were dying off and replanted. Did you plant bulbs in late spring? And they bloomed again following spring?

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Sharon Santoni March 28, 2023 - 11:00 pm

Yes Kathy, I lifted and replanted immediately. And they bloomed again the following year 🙂

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Jeanne Henriques March 28, 2023 - 8:15 pm

So beautiful Sharon, just seeing a Spring garden again soothes the soul, especially yours. xx

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Sharon Santoni March 28, 2023 - 11:01 pm

Thank you Jeanne xx

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Lisa D. March 28, 2023 - 8:37 pm

I never tire of looking at your beautiful house and garden, and I love this, Sharon! In many parts of the US there is a trend now towards more natural looking and sustainable gardens. Instead of a very planned or forced look, gardens are much more as they would be in the wild, as if they evolved naturally. I see many more meadow gardens, as opposed to lawns, and people are putting in plants that are native to their part of the country.

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Sharon Kaekel March 28, 2023 - 9:08 pm

My daffodils are plenty but hardly any flowers?
I plant them with bone meal. Am I to continue adding bone meal when plant goes dormant?

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Sharon Santoni March 28, 2023 - 11:03 pm

I’m not sure what is best for daffodils Sharon, I never feed mine, they just fend for themselves! I have years that give more daffodils than others, but I’ve never managed to work out why that is.

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Roxane Lacroix April 2, 2023 - 11:08 pm

Sharon Kaekel, an helpful web page I’m come across on the web about daffodil issues is hayesgardenworld It’s in the UK. Once you are on the main web page, at the top click on “Blog” and page to the bottom and click on Page 18. Hope you are able to rescue your daffodils!

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Kellie Caldwell March 28, 2023 - 9:57 pm

I would love to send you a photo of my deare friends daffies here in Plympton, MA. They have hundreds of thousands of bulbs. It is gorgeous!!! Please let me know where I can do that?

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Allie Callan March 28, 2023 - 11:29 pm

Love the daffodils!!! Realized I need to plant many more this fall.
My question is new subject: The four quadrants you planted a few years ago using the no dig layering up method… how has that worked out?

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Iona Spencer March 29, 2023 - 1:14 am

Hi Sharon
I live in South West France and leave my bulbs in the ground. They all flower the following year too.
I love your garden, perhaps we could see it through the seasons?
There is nothing better at this time of year, than seeing those glorious daffodils in full bloom. Thanks for sharing.

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Kathryn Gauci March 29, 2023 - 2:11 am

They look wonderful, Sharon. Uplifting and cheerful.

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Cassie Keturakis March 29, 2023 - 7:40 am

Dear Sharon,
Simply beautiful! I’m wondering about life… we stress so much about this and that… while your garden shows us it just takes a little effort and I think, mostly love, allowing nature to naturally carry through with the cycle of renewal and life.

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Edwina Ruwhiu March 29, 2023 - 10:12 am

i was a mall child that watched our dear elderly neighbour Mrs Verry grow daffies to show. There were literally thousands of them some specific for show, others naturalised and just left to run wild in the paddock. The sheep would come in and clean up the long grass before flowering and after the bulbs had died down. oldeer brothers and friend would jump the fence to nick a few to give to their girlfriends and so lonng as they didn’t touch her prized specimens Mrs Verry didn’t mind.

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Edwina Ruwhiu March 29, 2023 - 10:13 am

i was a small child that watched our dear elderly neighbour Mrs Verry grow daffies to show. There were literally thousands of them some specific for show, others naturalised and just left to run wild in the paddock. The sheep would come in and clean up the long grass before flowering and after the bulbs had died down. oldeer brothers and friend would jump the fence to nick a few to give to their girlfriends and so lonng as they didn’t touch her prized specimens Mrs Verry didn’t mind.

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Edwina Ruwhiu March 29, 2023 - 10:15 am

I was a small child that watched our dear elderly neighbour Mrs Verry grow daffies to show. There were literally thousands of them some specific for show, others naturalised and just left to run wild in the paddock. The sheep would come in and clean up the long grass before flowering and after the bulbs had died down. Older brothers and friends would jump the fence to nick a few to give to their girlfriends and so long as they didn’t touch her prized specimens Mrs Verry didn’t mind.

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Roxane Lacroix April 2, 2023 - 10:53 pm

So beautiful Sharon! I do so love the cheerfulness of daffodils. I remember visiting your home many years ago and absolutely loved your gardens! I moved 2 years ago, so had to start another garden yet again! Luckily for me, one of my daughters loves to garden and now runs her own business with our family so I’ve been able to recruit her to plants bulbs for me and many other chores. This past fall was planting tulips & some daffodils. I specifically requested the daffodils be naturalized in the lawn, so it will be a complete surprise in a couple of weeks! Living on a slope for a front yard with driveway drainage issues out into the yard has been a challenge, but I think we’ve got it figured out. My daughter is very interested in utilizing native garden plants and I’m trying to incorporated more of them into my gardens. I’ve ordered so many dahlias too and hope the ones asleep right now make it through. Looking forward to more beautiful blooms from your garden!

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Jane April 2, 2023 - 11:50 pm

Sharon,
Such coincidence with the way you plant your daffodils and mine.
When we purchased our fieldstone farmer’s house forty years ago there
were daffodils planted in several areas of our two acres of lawn with over twenty five
mature trees. Now we have daffodils growing just about everywhere. I never replanted the
original ones but let them spread where they wanted to spread.
We had a lot of day lilys which I dug up over 200 bulbs and transplanted them along a stream border on
both sides. The day lilys have spread, too. I added a small garden of various flowers on one section of the
small stream. I also collected numerous stones, both large and small, from the extended country stream.
I used these collected stones plus stones from a huge pile of stones on our property to line the sides of
the stream which runs through our property.
I love to bring my wrought iron chairs and table to the outdoors and always take some time to sit and watch the irises; daffodils; peonies and herbs start to bloom. It is a lovely scene….much like a Monet painting.

A lot of my plant inspirations come from visiting the DuPont estate known as “Longwood Gardens” located
in Kennett Square, Pa. If you ever have the chance to visit Pennsylvania I recommend you take the time to
visit “Longwood Gardens.” I recently visited and on display were “blue Himalayan poppies” in the giant conservatory which is located on the 1030 acres of gardens, fountains; open fields and forest. Walking paths are numerous…and long! If you go, bring sunglasses, good brimmed hat and some really comfy sneakers for walking…..water to drink and to refill your bottle with water from various water fountains.
Enjoy your beautiful daffodils in France!

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Phil Kramer August 31, 2023 - 2:56 pm

I wanted to extend a heartfelt thank you for your recent post about growing daffodils in your garden. Your insights and tips have truly enriched my understanding of this wonderful practice. It’s fascinating to learn how you strategically planted the daffodils in your lawn, creating these stunning ‘clouds’ of blooms. Your experience and wisdom shine through as you share the simple yet effective method of planting, making it sound quite achievable for fellow gardening enthusiasts like myself. The way you’ve embraced the natural process, even with the small challenges, is both admirable and inspiring. Your account of the beautiful burst of color aligning with spring’s arrival, alongside the magnolia tree, paints a vivid picture of the seasonal transition. Thank you again for generously sharing your experiences and knowledge. Your post has left me excited to explore similar endeavors in my garden and embrace the joy of daffodils.

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mollyharboe October 18, 2023 - 12:53 pm

I love DAFFODILS flowers and I have a small garden in my house where I have planted all my favorite flowers.

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Spider November 21, 2023 - 8:43 pm

One of my Favorite Flower Daffodils, i got so many knowledge from your Article. It gave me so much information about Daffodils. Thank You So much.

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Dani Anderson November 28, 2023 - 1:03 pm

Dear Sharon Santoni,

Your post on “Growing Daffodils in My Garden” is a delightful journey into the joys of cultivating these vibrant spring blooms. The personal anecdotes and vivid descriptions create a charming narrative that resonates with gardening enthusiasts. The inclusion of practical tips and beautiful images adds both value and visual appeal to the reader’s experience. Thank you for sharing your passion for daffodils and offering insights into the art of growing these cheerful flowers in our gardens.

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Michelle Evans November 30, 2023 - 7:05 am

I absolutely love the charm that daffodils bring to your French Country garden! The vibrant blooms add a touch of elegance and warmth. Inspired to plant some in my garden now.
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Brian Travinski January 3, 2024 - 10:41 am

DAFFODILS have grown in my garden only once. And since then I have tried a lot. Then DAFFODILS did not grow in my garden and I got a lot of good information from your post.

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Gartenzaun January 29, 2024 - 3:51 pm

Your insights into the art of growing daffodils are both informative and poetic. It’s not just about planting; it’s about curating a living masterpiece. The way you describe each step, from the anticipation of planting to the joyous bloom, is a testament to your passion for gardening.

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