The Right Place
Plant daffodil bulbs in the fall, at least a month before the ground freezes so they have time to develop roots. Choose a location that provides at least a half day of sunlight daily. Since they need sun for just a few weeks in the spring, they can be planted beneath deciduous trees that are still bare of leaves at daffodil bloom time.
Like almost all bulbs, daffodils do fine with ordinary soil as long as it is not wet. Improve soil drainage in clayey soil by adding lots of organic matter such as chopped leaves, compost or peat moss, or build bulb beds higher than the surrounding soil surface. The soil should be slightly acidic (pH 6.0 to 6.5).
Planting Bulbs In The Ground
Plant bulbs 6 to 9 inches deep (roughly 4 times the bulb’s circumference) and 6 inches apart. Planted as deep as 8 inches, daffodil bulbs multiply less, but may produce bigger flowers. Measure the depth from the top of the bulb as it rests in the hole, not from the bottom of the hole. If they are not quite at the proper depth, daffodil bulbs tend to adjust their own depth. Point each bulb’s narrow growing tip upward and press their rounded bottoms into the soil, using a slight twisting motion to ensure good soil contact for the root plate. Fill the holes with soil and cover the bed with a layer of mulch to protect it from heaving due to temperature fluctuations during the winter.
Planting Bulbs In Containers
Plant daffodil bulbs in your outdoor containers just about the same way you would plant them in the soil. Be sure the container has drainage holes and use soilless potting mix instead of soil from the yard. Put a single layer of bulbs, their sides touching 6 inches down in the soil, then cover them with soil and water them. Keep bulbs watered over the winter. Wrap the sides of the containers with bubble wrap, burlap or other insulating material, or set them in a cold frame or in the ground until spring.
Layer daffodil bulbs in deeper containers. Set one layer near the bottom of the container, cover them with soil, then put in either another layer of daffodils bulbs, or a layer of some other bulb such as crocus. Take care that the bulbs in the second layer do not sit directly on top of those in the first layer. Use regular terra cotta pots, cement planters, wooden half barrels and windowboxes.