Stretch The Bloom Season With Daffodils

Ilona Erwin

Which Flowers Do You Love? Daffodils?

Do you love daffodils? Tulips? All the flowersof spring? Or do you love Chrysanthemums in the fall? Daylilies in summer?

Which of these flowers makes your heart beat a little faster, just looking at them? No matter which of these flowers are your favorites (and the list is not limited to just those named), there is a way to stretch out the blooming show of your own favorites.

I would like to take the daffodil as an example of how to produce a long period of flowers when you might have expected only two to three weeks at the most. With a wise selection of varieties the bloom of your favorite type of flower can last through months of the growing season. If you grow them indoors, the narcissus can last well into the winter months, too.

How to Stretch the Blooming Season

You can stretch the bloom season when keeping in mind that varieties of a type of plant may bloom at different times, and sequence it through a much longer time of blooming than if you had only one type. Many flowering plants will have this feature.
There are often early, middle, and late blooming types of a plant.

The Long Season of Daffodil Varieties

a small and early variety

a small and early variety

Daffodils are one primary example, and they can brighten my garden from as early as late February with ‘February Gold‘ to as late as ‘Baby Moon‘ and others like her.

See how this works? A whole season from earliest spring to almost summer, an array of daffodils.

Early Daffodils:

  • February Gold
  • Barrett Browning
  • Erlicheer
  • Ice Follies
  • Tête-à-Tête

Midseason Narcissus Blooms:

  • Carlton
  • Golden Dawn
  • Minnow
  • Mt. Hood
  • Orangery
  • Sweetness

Late Daffodils:

  • Cheerfulness
  • Dick Wellband
  • Odoratus
  • Geranium
  • Sir Winston Churchill
  • Thalia
  • Trevithian

Check the listings of the plants you purchase for the early, middle, and late designation. Combine the varieties for maximum bloom in your garden.

Welcome to the world of Narcissus

Welcome to the world of Narcissus

Using Daylilies with Daffodils, a Perfect Match

Hiding dying bulb foliage with a later season perennial is known as “overplanting”.

As much as the cheerful blooms of Narcissus are loved, their foliage is disdained. Gardeners have been known to tie it with rubber bands, braid it, or prematurely do away with it. Don’t do that! Instead, pair your daffodil bulbs with a later sprouting perennial that grows to cover the withering leaves.

Daylilies are the perfect choice for that perennial plant. Moreover, they can be grown with early, mid, and late blooming varieties. Use this method of choosing a long season of flowers to cover most of the summer months.

Stretch Bloom Season: Don’t Stop With Just Two


Alliums flowers just as the Narcissus season is ending.

Now that you have the idea of how to use plants you love for more than their peak flowering time, include some other plantings in either this Daffodil/Daylily bed or in another part of the garden.

  • Alliums flower in early, mid- and late-season.
  • Tulips from March to May.
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Hosta flowers (great choice to overplant daffodils)

The well-planned garden uses tricks of the trade, like this, to set itself apart in terms of beauty and the best use of planting beds.

I have especially enjoyed stretching the season with daffodils because they are so beautiful and easy to grow. Their unpalatable taste meant I didn’t suffer loss to rodents, and they multiply quite happily. Simply mix and match from their triad of bloom times to bring  their free blooming spring song to many months.

Learn about Class Divisions of Daffodils

Narcissus Divisions

DivisionBloom LabelBloom DescriptionNamed VarietiesNotes
Division 1TrumpetOne flower per stem, corona is at least as long as petals.Dutch Master, Chesapeake Bay, King AlfredMost familiar form
Division 2Long CupOne flower per stem, corona more than one third but less than
equal to perianth length.
Falstaff, Mrs. R.O. Backhouse, Pink Charm
Division 3Short CupOne flower per stem, corona no more than 1/3 the height of the petalsRavenhill, Verona, Lalique
Division 4DoubleFlower has a clustered cup, petals or both. One or more flowers per stemAngelique, Erlicheer, Buckshead
Division 5TriandrusMore than one bloom per stem, drooping blossom with silky reflexed perianth.Hawera, Thalis, Tuesdays ChildThis, and divisions to #10 may vary in appearance from standard.
Division 6CyclamineusOne flower per stem, straight and narrow cup, reflexed petals; with some exceptions.February Gold, Jack Snipe, Jenny
Division 7JonquillaSeveral flowers to a stem, fragrant flowers and rush-like leaves.Baby Moon, Cherie, PipitVery fragrant, usually diminuative
Division 8TazettaThree to twenty flowers to a thick stem, fragrant with very short cup; rounded and crinkled petals.Brentswood, Elvira, Minnow, paperwhitesPaper whites are tender, grown only indoors in cold climates
Division 9PoeticusOne flower to a stem, white petals with colored cup edged in red. Corona color may bland into white petals. Sweet scent.Actaea, Chesterton, HoracePheasant’s Eye was one of the first narcissus cultivated
Division 10Bulbocodium HybridsHoop petticoat formHoops Petticoat
Division 11Split CoronaCup is split, usually for at least 1/3 of its length. Cup is generally bi-colored.Astro Pink, Evelyn Roberts, Sarah Mackilliea) Collar Daffodils
b) Papillon Daffodils
Division 12Other Cultivars, MiscellaneousAny daffodil not in the previous categories.Tête – à -Tête, Toto, Eaton SongIncluding miniatures
Division 13SpeciesAll specie and wild DaffodilsThe Tenby daffodil, n.jonquilla, n. pseudo narcissus lobularisIncludes double forms

The 13 daffodil divisions based on flower form, their descriptions and a few cultivar examples of each.

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author

Ilona Erwin

I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of Ilona's Reflecting Pool. Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.