How to keep squirrels from digging up bulbs?


10 Tips for Protecting Tulip Bulbs

Daffodils look cheery, hyacinths smell divine, and crocuses pop up early, but something about a bright, cup-shape tulip inspires true spring joy. Unfortunately, this joy can be cut short unless you take a few precautions to protect your bulbs. Use these 10 tips to ensure a bountiful tulip display.

Image zoom The biggest threat to hardy tulip bulbs is hungry deer. Protect your spring garden by putting in a garden fence, which will also help with backyard privacy.

1. Install a Tall Fence

Tulips in a landscape provide a salad bar for deer. The most effective protection from deer is a fence. Install one that’s at least 8 feet tall or two fences 4 feet tall and 4 feet apart. Deer can jump high or wide, but they can’t do both at once. A tall fence is also a great solution for protecting tulips from rabbits—just make sure the slats of the fence aren’t too far apart so they can sneak between them.

2. Install a Short Fence

To foil groundhogs and other burrowing critters, a fence that’s 3 feet tall and 10-12 inches below ground (to prevent them from digging under the fence) is an effective deterrent.

Image zoom

3. Use Mesh

Squirrels and mice seem to take special pleasure in finding, digging, and nibbling tulip bulbs. How to protect tulip bulbs from squirrels and mice: wide wire mesh, such as chicken wire, is an effective deterrent. Lay it directly on top of the bed, extending the surface about 3 feet from the plantings, then stake it down.

You can also plant bulbs in wire cages for tulip squirrel protection. Place the bulbs in the center of the cage and fill the edges with dirt so critters can’t gnaw around the edges.

Some gardeners place an old window screen on top of the ground to deter squirrels. Remove it once the ground freezes because tulip plants can’t grow through the screening material as they can with chicken wire.

4. Plant Deeply and Clean Up

Plant tulip bulbs deep, at least three times the height of the bulb, and cover bulbs properly with soil so critters aren’t attracted to the planting site. Some gardeners claim that planting a bit deeper enhances hardiness and makes it harder for digging pests to find tulip bulbs. Always remove all evidence of bulb planting, including any dried bulb casings, from the area so the scent doesn’t attract predators.

Image zoom Even though tulip bulbs are hardy, they benefit from a little extra warmth and protection from mulch.

5. Apply Mulch Properly

Mulching bulbs is a great idea to conserve soil moisture and maintain a cool soil temperature. Just don’t apply it too soon. Mulching when it’s still warm provides a cozy place for critters to burrow in for the winter, and it may inspire them to dig into your bulbs. Wait until the ground is cold or frozen. Mulch helps keep soil temperatures consistently cool and will minimize damage from frost heaving.

Image zoom

6. Protect Tulip Bulbs in Pots

Tulips need about 12 weeks of cold chilling to bloom properly, but there is a risk of freezing when bulbs are planted in pots left outdoors. Use a freeze-proof pot at least the size of a half-whiskey barrel to provide enough protection. Place it in a protected area, such as inside a garage or near a house foundation, until the bulbs sprout in spring. You can also group large pots in a protected area and wrap them with burlap or other insulating material.

7. Plant in Well-Drained Soil

Tulip bulbs are native to dry Mediterranean climates and need excellent drainage to thrive. Planting in clay or other waterlogged soils suffocates the bulbs because there are no air spaces that allow roots to grow. Wet soil also promotes fungus and diseases.

Add compost and coarse builder’s sand (not playground sand) to soil to promote good drainage. Planting in raised beds with amended soils may be the best solution in areas with dense soil.

Image zoom potted snowball vibernum, background potted avalanche clematis,

8. Try Repellents But Don’t Rely on Them

Commercial pest repellent products fill garden center shelves as an easy option for protecting tulip bulbs from animals. Some might work in your yard—for a while. Deer, rabbits, rodents, and other critters often become so used to the repellent that it is no longer effective. Many are scent-based products that wear off after rain so they must be reapplied frequently. And remember, what works in one garden doesn’t always work in another.

Folk remedies include hanging Irish Spring soap from mesh bags, scattering human hair clippings, sprinkling predator urine, dusting with cayenne or crushed red pepper, and spraying rotten egg mixtures around the garden perimeter. Again, the success of these remedies might vary.

9. Use Plant Deterrents

According to Tulip World, an online bulb company, a favorite Dutch remedy to foil predators is to interplant tulips with crown imperial (Fritillaria imperialis). This tall, dramatic plant emits an odor that repels critters. Critters also avoid alliums and daffodils, so interplanting with those bulbs may help protect tulips from rabbits and other animals.

Image zoom A squirrel feeder, like this one, may be the difference between beautiful, blooming flowers and dug-up bulbs.

10. Offer an Alternative Diet

Talk about a government handout! Gardeners at the White House in Washington, D.C., where tulip beds were routinely pillaged by marauding squirrels, decided to hang peanut-filled boxes in nearby trees. The squirrel-feeding program, in effect from fall planting time until bloom time, cut the bulb losses—although some squirrels still helped themselves to the tulip bulbs. The gardeners also acknowledged that the peanuts might have attracted more squirrels to the grounds.

  • By Deb Wiley

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Best and Worst Flowers to Plant for a Pet-Friendly Garden

Barbara Rich/Getty Images

Every pet owner knows their dog or cat will chew on anything it can sink its teeth into, whether that’s a toy, shoe, or ball of yarn. And at some point, your furry friend will inevitably gravitate towards plants and flowers for a bite or two. As beautiful as these colorful blooms are, from household plants to flowers grown in the garden, some can be particularly dangerous to our tail-wagging companions. Of course, fragrant varieties are especially tempting (and, yes, even deadly), but did you know that your pet simply drinking water from a vase containing poisonous cut flowers can result in vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, lethargy, and lack of appetite? As you will see on this list, sometimes the potency is wrapped in the leaves, whereas in other cases, it could be in the seeds or bulbs.

You can always take an extra step of precaution by placing your indoor containers in inaccessible areas of your home. But, the best (and most obvious) form of recourse is to avoid buying and planting toxic plants altogether, especially if your dog or cat is known for roaming around outside and nibbling on anything out of sheer curiosity. And if you can’t possibly part way with your precious wisteria and tulips this season, growing your flowers on fences is another viable alternative.

Although you can’t do anything about the neighbors’ gardens, you can protect your pup starting in your own backyard. According to the ASPCA, these are the safest plants to thrill, fill, and spill, as well as the ones to avoid.

Avoid the Following:


  • Chrysanthemum – Consuming any part of this autumn bloom can cause discomfort and loss of coordination for your four-legged friend.
  • Carnation – They’re not as harmful as other perennials, but they can cause mild gastrointestinal problems for your beloved pet.
  • Dahlia – Eating this delicate petal may lead to mild gastrointestinal suffering and dermatitis.
  • Daisy – Even though most consider this flower as the weed of the garden, certain species carry dangerous toxins.
  • Iris – As indicative of its name (meaning rainbow), irises come in many different colors, but that generous offering of hues could come at price for your pet. Symptoms include: mild to moderate vomiting, drooling, lethargy, and diarrhea.
  • Lily of the Valley – We adore this shady flower, but it can produce serious symptoms in pets and people, including vomiting, heart arrythmias, seizures, and, ultimately, death.
  • Monkshood – This one is a dead giveaway, considering its more common moniker “wolfsbane.”
  • Peony – The garden and bouquet filler is a favorite among Southerners, but it poses a health hazard to our pets, including vomiting, excessive drooling, and diarrhea.
  • Other toxic perennials you should be aware of are Forget-Me-Nots, Peace Lilies, Coleus, Lavender, and Lenten Rose.


  • Begonia – These tubers are toxic, and can cause irritation of the mouth and difficulty swallowing.
  • Geranium – Commonly grown in outdoor gardens, containers, and hanging baskets, the Pelargonium species is toxic for pets, causing skin rashes, low blood pressure, lethargy, and loss of appetite.


  • Aloe Vera – For humans, aloe vera works wonders for the skin and for burns. For dogs and cats, not so much. Symptoms include: vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors.
  • Azaleas and Rhododendron – These bright and popular garden shrubs are not only dangerous for cats and dogs, but horses, goats, and sheep, too. If leaves are ingested by these animals, it can cause digestive problems, excessive drooling, weakness, and loss of appetite.
  • Boxwood – Evergreen and ever-dangerous when a significant amount of its leaves are ingested by your pet. It mostly causes dehydration, due to severe vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Gardenia – Unfortunately, the white and fragrant blooms of this shrub can take a toll on your pet’s health.
  • Hydrangea – Summer and fall gifts us with these vibrant, four-petaled clusters, but if consumed in large quantities, the showy flowers can be poisonous to people and pets.
  • Lantana – If you’ve recently planted this small, tropical shrub, look for signs of diarrhea and weakness in your pet.
  • Rose of Sharon – Dogs that ingest this hardy, trumpet-shaped flower can suffer from lack of appetite, vomiting, and nausea.
  • Yew – This slow-growing, drought-resistant shrub is a sight to behold when it spreads, but it’s dangerous for dogs, cats, horses, cattles, and people.


  • Amaryllis – We love these beautiful bulbs, but they’re extremely poisonous. If consumed, it can cause abdominal pain, tremors, diarrhea, and hypersalivation for both cats and dogs.
  • Caladium – Their big flamboyant leaves contain dangerous crystals that can penetrate your pet’s skin and mouth, causing severe irritation and difficulty breathing and walking.
  • Crocus – This chalice-shaped bulb is usually the first sign that spring has arrived, but ingestion of the spring crocus can lead to a gastrointestinal upset for your pup.
  • Daffodil and Jonquil – It’s a good thing that daffodils are too pretty to eat, because if your pets munch on the bulbs, it can cause cardiac issues, convulsions, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Gladiola – Here, it’s the corms that lead to excessive drooling, lethargy, and vomiting.
  • Hyacinth – You may be drawn to its sweet scent, but keep your dogs, cats, and cattle away from this bulb, because it can damage their mouth and esophagus and cause violent tremors.
  • Lily – To put it simply, lilies are definitely not the cat’s meow. The verdant and fragrant bulb can cause kidney failure for cats. Oddly enough, lilies don’t seem to affect dogs in the same way.
  • Tulip – Eating the cup-shaped flower may lead to convulsions, cardiac problems, and gastrointestinal discomfort.


While these climbing growers are useful for sprucing up your landscaping and vertical space, they can also be toxic to dogs and cats, particularly since wisteria contains poisonous seeds and pods.

  • Clematis
  • English and Boston Ivy
  • Morning Glory
  • Wisteria


  • Poinsettia – There’s a reason for the phrase, “Beware of the poinsettia.” But, it’s not as toxic as we’ve been led to believe. However, it can cause irration of the mouth and stomach for kittens and puppies.
  • Oak trees – The acorns and leaves are poisonous.
  • Tomato plants – Take care when planting this summer favorite because it contains solanine, a highly toxic element.
  • Mint, Parsley, Oleander, andYellow Bird of Paradise are also harmful.

Perfectly Safe to Plant Away!

  • African Violets
  • Alyssum
  • Aster
  • Blooming Sally
  • Blue-Eyed Daisy
  • Cilantro
  • Snapdragon
  • Corn flower
  • Crape Myrtle
  • Creeping Zinnia
  • Daylilies
  • Feather Palm
  • Marigolds
  • Hibiscus
  • Impatiens
  • Magnolia Bush
  • Mulberry Tree
  • Pansies
  • Petunias
  • Purple passion vine
  • Sage
  • Spider Ivy
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweet Potato Vine
  • Thyme
  • Tiger Lily
  • Zinnia

WATCH: Best Southern Dog Names

Keep in mind this list is not exhaustive and only includes some of the most common flowers typically grown in the South. If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these potentially harmful plants, you should contact your veterinarian.

Tips On How To Protect Flower Bulbs From Rodent Damage

There are few things more devastating to a gardener in spring than to find out the dozens (or even hundreds) of flower bulbs they spent hours planting in the fall have disappeared from their garden, a victim of the winter appetite of some rodent.

But, this does not have to happen to you. You can take steps to protect flower bulbs from hungry critters. With just a little extra effort, you will not have to worry any longer if your spring bulbs will make it through the winter.

What Animals Are You Protecting Bulbs From?

A wide variety of animals will snack on flower bulbs. Most commonly, mice are the issue, but squirrels, chipmunks, voles and gophers can also be to blame.

Oftentimes a gardener will blame moles as well, but moles do not eat bulbs or roots of plants. More often than not, it’s the usual suspects listed above that will use a mole tunnel to make their way to your spring flower bulbs.

How To Protect Flower Bulbs From Animals

There are several ways to protect your bulbs from rodent damage. All of them can be broken down into two categories, barriers or repellents.

Barriers To Protect Bulbs

A barrier to protect your flower bulbs in the winter needs to be put in place when the flower bulbs are planted. In the fall, when planting your spring bulbs, you can choose one of the following methods to help keep your flower bulbs safe over the winter:

  • Chicken wire cages – You can use chicken wire to construct a cage that you can place your flower bulbs in. The holes will allow your bulbs’ leaves and roots to grow but will keep pesky rodents at bay.
  • Add a layer of gravel – place a layer of sharp edge gravel or grit below and above your bulbs when you plant them. Most animals do not like to dig through sharp debris and will avoid going after your flower bulbs.
  • Strawberry baskets or yogurt cups – You can recycle strawberry baskets (the green plastic baskets that you buy strawberries in) or punch holes in the bottom of used yogurt cups and place your bulbs inside these. Both of these methods will protect your spring bulbs from underground attacks but can still leave them open to being dug up from above.

Repellents To Keep Rodents From Flower Bulbs

Repellents can work well for flower bulbs that have already been planted. These methods tend to be short term though and will need to be replaced periodically, as time or weather will reduce their effectiveness.

  • Blood meal – Blood meal is the standard repellent for flower bulbs, as it not only helps to keep away small rodents but also helps to add nutrients to the soil. One negative about using blood meal is that it can attract other unwanted animals, like raccoons or skunks.
  • Predator animal hair or urine – Spreading around the hair or urine from animals can help add the smell of a predator to the area, which will help ward off small rodents. You can use human, dog or cat hair or urine. Human hair can be obtained from beauty salons, dog hair from dog groomers and cat urine can be found by spreading used kitty litter around where your bulbs are planted.
  • Chili pepper – Powdered or liquid chili pepper can help deter rodents from dining on your flower bulbs. Sprinkle the area over your bulbs liberally with this fiery stuff to keep rodents away.
  • Plant un-tasty bulbs – Most rodents will avoid eating daffodils, snowflakes, snowdrops, fritillaries, allium and squill. You can plant only these or try interplanting the unpalatable bulbs with the more vulnerable bulbs like tulips, crocus and gladioli.

One of our garden allies received a bum rap recently in a master gardener’s advice column. A caller had asked why the bulbs she planted only bloomed once. Then, they never sprout or bloom again, and she wondered what the problem was.

Among the answers given in the column was “Rodents such as voles, moles and chipmunks could be eating your bulbs without your knowing it.’Moles received a bum rap, being classified with voles! These softly beautiful small animals are strictly insectivorous; they never eat plants. Their diet consists of insects, caterpillars, worms and grubs, and thus are beneficial to farmers and gardeners.

To be sure, their tunnels can disturb plants by lifting them up from the ground, but it is the lazy voles that take advantage of the tunnels’ soft earth and eat the plants. Moles are said to do their tunneling during the night and remain in a specially prepared fortress during the day.

Of course, many people do not want moles in their gardens and set traps for them. In fact, Mama set traps for them when they invaded her flower garden. It was then that this tiny creature’s beauty was noted. Its fur was fine and soft, and Mama wondered how in the world anyone would ever gather enough mole fur to make a hat!

Chipmunks, a close relative to the squirrels and thus a rodent, eat nuts and grains. They spend the summer filling their larders for the winter months. They’ve gone underground now, and won’t be seen until warm weather. The babies are borne in spring, and this past summer was the first time they were noted on the back lawn.

As for chipmunks eating flower bulbs, they have never done so in This Garden. Perhaps it is because there is always an abundance of acorns and hickory nuts, as well as sufficient birdseed kept handy for them in this area.

Chipmunks may well eat crocus, as mentioned here recently, but tulip bulbs are too deeply planted for them to reach them. As for anything eating narcissus or daffodil bulbs, I do not know of anything that eats them, nor have they been dug from the ground. One gardener said these bulbs are poison. If so, how does the destructive larva of the narcissus bulb fly survive?

Protecting tulip bulbs from rodents was mentioned here recently. Since then a news release from Isser & Associates has been received announcing Bulb Guard. More than 200 members of National Home Gardening Club tested the new product.

It scored exceptionally high in effectiveness, clarity of instructions and ease of use, according to results printed in the September-October 2002 issue of Gardening How-To. One tester said she used Bulb Guard every three months with excellent results. Another said all bulbs came up and bloomed beautifully as a result of using Bulb Guard.

Bulb Guard is part of the Havahart production of Woodstream Corp. and the only all-natural formula, using both odor and taste to repel animals. To protect bulbs, soak them in the concentrate for five minutes, allow them to air dry and then plant.

To treat above-ground growth, use a seven-to-one mixture or water and Bulb Guard. The long-lasting formula contains no harmful chemicals and is registered for use on all flowers and vegetables by the EPA.

According to the news release, the 16-ounce concentrate is sold at garden, home and hardware outlets. The suggested retail price is $24.99. For additional information, go to

Several gardeners report using hot pepper tea (soak pods in water and strain) to deter animals. It was used on foamflower, Tiarella, a favorite of rabbits. I watched as one crept up to finish a plant. He took one bite, appeared to sneeze, and his take-off gave explicit meaning to the expression “high-tailing-it!’ I think he told his brothers and the stands of foamflowers were left to bloom that spring.

Animals are as selective in their choice of foods as we are. But isn’t it ironic that our most cherished plants are the ones high on the list of their favorites? Neither bird nor beast would stoop so low to eat the non-stop spreading wild strawberry, now out of control!

Sometimes a gardener will call to say: “I can’t believe you don’t love such-and-such a plant. How could you say that?’ If one does not have 40 acres, then there are plants that become too chummy with others. Arum italicum is heading that way, now that it has its crisp winter foliage. A rare one among them will be isolated; it has solid green foliage that is round, instead of the normal pointed leaves with white and green variegation.

As always, happy gardening, and to each his own.

What Eats Daffodil Bulbs?

The daffodil is a member of the hardy narcissus family and is toxic to most animals. At times a gardener will notice that the flower bed area has been dug or tunneled into and bulbs are in pieces or missing. Plants may emerge with stunted leaves and buds that may not blossom. The gardener must figure out what is eating the daffodil bulbs to save the spring garden flower.

Bulb Mites

Bulb mites feed on a bulb that is already being attacked by a disease or daffodil bulb pest. The bulbs will have damaged and weak, soft tissues. Bulb mites only infest bulbs that are diseased. Be sure to inspect newly purchased or stored bulbs before planting them in your pots or flower beds. The mites will infest field bulbs, root systems and basal stems.

Narcissus Grub

The narcissus grub is one of the most likely culprits that feeds on daffodil bulbs. The bulb will be black and unhealthy looking as it has been gutted by the grub. The grub larvae will eat the inside of the bulb as it grows. The grub winters over inside of the bulb and will emerge when the soil warms. It will stay in the soil in pupate stage. The narcissus fly will emerge, mature and lay eggs in the soil on the leaves or the base of the bulb.


Root feeding nematodes will infest daffodils. These roundworms appear eel-like and are microscopic. They live and feed on root systems causing a great deal of damage to bulbs. The weakened bulbs are then fed on by mites.


Animals such as squirrels, rats, mice, moles and skunks may dig up the bulbs in your flower bed. There is no proof that any animal will eat a daffodil bulb even though it is a standard assumption. There is a possibility that a skunk will dig into an infested bulb to get the grub. The bulb will be torn apart or carried away but not eaten by the animal.

Daffodil FAQs

Table of Contents

  1. What is the difference between daffodils and narcissus?
  2. What is a jonquil?
  3. How many kinds of daffodils are there?
  4. Will squirrels and other rodents eat daffodil bulbs?
  5. Are daffodils expensive?
  6. Do daffodils grow back every year?
  7. How long do daffodil bulbs last?
  8. How do daffodils multiply?
  9. How long is the flowering season of daffodils?
  10. What are miniature daffodils?
  11. Are daffodils difficult to grow?
  12. Do you need to deadhead daffodils?
  13. When should you cut back daffodils?
  14. Can daffodils be grown throughout the United States?
  15. Will daffodils grow in the shade?
  16. Do ground covers have an adverse effect on daffodils?
  17. Why should I exhibit at daffodil shows?
  18. How can I learn more about daffodils at home?

What is the difference between daffodils and narcissus?

None. The two words are synonyms. Narcissus is the Latin or botanical name for all daffodils, just as ilex is for hollies. Daffodil is the common name for all members of the genus Narcissus, and its use is recommended by the ADS at all times other than in scientific writing. Back to Top

What is a jonquil?

In some parts of the country any yellow daffodil is called a jonquil, usually incorrectly. As a rule, but not always, jonquil species and hybrids are characterized by several yellow flowers, strong scent, and rounded foliage. The hybrids are confined to Division 7 and the term “jonquil” should be applied only to daffodils in Division 7 or species in Division 13 known to belong to the jonquil group. Back to Top

How many kinds of daffodils are there?

Depending on which botanist you talk to, there are between 40 and 200 different daffodil species, subspecies or varieties of species and over 32,000 registered cultivars (named hybrids) divided among the thirteen divisions of the official classification system. Back to Top

Will squirrels and other rodents eat daffodil bulbs?

No. The bulbs and leaves contain poisonous crystals which only certain insects can eat with impunity. They may, however, dig up the bulbs. Back to Top

Are daffodils expensive?

Bulbs are priced from around $1.00 up to about $100, depending on the newness or scarcity of a cultivar and not necessarily on its desirability. There are many prize-winning exhibition cultivars that can be bought for under $2.50. Cultivars for naturalizing cost even less, but mixtures of unnamed cultivars are not recommended. Back to Top

Do daffodils grow back every year?

Daffodils are dependable perennial bulbs that should return year after year with additional blooms. Back to Top

How long do daffodil bulbs last?

Under good growing conditions, they should outlast any of us. While some kinds of bulbs tend to dwindle and die out, daffodils should increase. Back to Top

How do daffodils multiply?

Daffodils multiply in two ways: asexual cloning (bulb division) where exact copies of the flower will result, and sexually (from seed) where new, different flowers will result.

Seeds develop in the seed pod (ovary), the swelling just behind the flower petals. Most often, after bloom the seed pod swells but it is empty of seed. Occasionally, wind or insects can pollinate the flower during bloom by bringing new pollen from another flower. When this happens, the seed pod will contain one or a few seeds.

Daffodil hybridizers pollinate flowers by brushing pollen from one flower onto the stigma of another. Then the resulting seed pod can contain up to 25 seeds. Each of these will produce an entirely new plant – but the wait for a bloom for a plant grown from seed is about 5 years!
Back to Top

How long is the flowering season of daffodils?

From six weeks to six months, depending on where you live and the cultivars you grow. After blooming, let the daffodil plant rebuild its bulb for the next year. The leaves stay green while this is happening. When the leaves begin to yellow, then you can cut the leaves off but not before.
Back to Top

What are miniature daffodils?

Daffodils come in all sizes from 5-inch blooms on 2-foot stems to half-inch flowers on 2-inch stems. Largely for show purposes, but also for guidance in gardening, certain species and named cultivars have been determined by the ADS to be miniatures and must compete by themselves in daffodil shows. Current lists of miniatures are published in the Daffodil Journal or may be obtained separately from the ADS. Back to Top

Are daffodils difficult to grow?

No. They are probably the easiest and most dependable of all the families of flowers and ideal for a beginner in gardening in most regions of the United States. Back to Top

Do you need to deadhead daffodils?

After daffodils have flowered you can dead head the bloom so that energy goes into building the bulb for next year’s flower instead of seed production. Before removal of the leaves, they should be allowed to die back naturally until they are at least yellow. Back to Top

When should you cut back daffodils?

Daffodil leaves should “not” be cut back until after they have at least turned yellow. They use their leaves as energy to create next year’s flower. Daffodils continue to absorb nutrients for about six weeks after the blooms have died. During this time they need plenty of sunshine and a regular supply of water. As daffodil bulbs are built, the leaves on the plant turn yellow and eventually die back.

Daffodil leaves removed soon after flowering by mowing or cutting back can severely deplete your bulbs. As with dryness, it prevents the bulb building and storage of food reserves for the future. Back to Top

Can daffodils be grown throughout the United States?

Daffodils are quite tolerant of cold, especially with a covering of snow, and are grown to the Canadian border. The only exceptions are a few tender cultivars, usually tazettas, such as the popular Paper White. Daffodils can also be grown throughout the South with the exception of parts of Florida which are free of frost. A cold treatment—natural or induced—is needed for flower bud initiation. Along a narrow band adjoining the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas there are certain types and named cultivars which have been found to do better than others. Back to Top

Will daffodils grow in the shade?

They will grow in the shade of deciduous trees because they have finished flowering and the foliage has begun to mature by the time deciduous trees leaf out. However, it is better to grow them outside the drip line of deciduous trees rather than under them. Also, deciduous trees with tap roots are preferable to shallow-rooted trees. Daffodils will not long survive under evergreen trees and shrubs. Back to Top

Do ground covers have an adverse effect on daffodils?

The two will be competing for nutrients and moisture, so the answer depends on the fertility of the soil and the aggressiveness of the ground cover. Vigorous, tall-growing, and deeply rooting plants, such as pachysandra and ivy, are likely to discourage daffodils, but they will usually do well in the company of shallow-rooted, trailing plants, such as myrtle, foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), or creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera). Back to Top

Why should I exhibit at daffodil shows?

For the satisfaction of helping to present to the public and other gardeners an outstanding display of a flower whose variety and merits are too little known. A show will also give you a chance to see blooms of the newer cultivars and to become acquainted with others who share your interest in daffodils. Eventually your skill may be recognized by awards and you may wish to take the courses and examinations which would qualify you as an Accredited Judge. Back to Top

How can I learn more about daffodils at home?

A good start is to join the American Daffodil Society today at this convenient link. Also, carefully read The Daffodil Journal, published by the American Daffodil Society and borrow books on daffodils from the Society’s library. Join one of the number of daffodil round robins available, with subject matter such as Miniatures, Historics and Hybridizing. Each round robin consists of members contributing e-mails about their experiences and discussing issues they have encountered. Join the daffodil Internet group known as DAFFNET. It is an international discussion forum established and supported by the American Daffodil Society and can be easily accessed at Look at our resource, a daffodil photo database, for your favorite daffodils or for new varieties. There is information for over 23,000 daffodils with more than 26,700 photographs. Back to Top

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