Double-Blooming Daffodils

Fall in love over and over again by learning tips and tricks to consistently rebloom Narcissus.

Photo by Flickr/Sagamore James

Naturalize daffodils, and they may still be blooming when 23rd-century archaeologists poke around your former spading ground to figure out how people from our era lived. Like most carefree plants, you really never have to do anything for the best time-tested varieties of Narcissus, which have thrived for over 200 years in some colonial sites.

For members of the “cult of daffodil,” this sunny flower is more than a reliable harbinger of spring. Thanks to its immediately recognizable floral structure — six petals capped with a corona that could be compared to a royal crown or a jaunty top hat — it’s the self-crowned monarch of the plant kingdom. The shortlist of famous members of the cult of daffodil includes Oscar Wilde, Ramesses II, and Lady Gaga (who wore a dress made of the flower). In her poem “Daffodil,” Irish poet and novelist Agnes Romilly White describes the daffodil as having “A little queenly head, most meet / A royal crown to wear; / A little queenly queen, most sweet, / With sun-gold in her hair.”

Despite the love daffodils have been receiving for millennia, there are still some simple tricks that cultists and casual growers alike can learn to get even more out of a flower that rarely demands anything.

(Always) In Bloom

Daffodils have so many virtues that gardeners rarely complain about their alleged single-blooming nature. Those who want a longer flowering season plant cultivars with different bloom times for a continuous sequence. But, in fact, some daffodils do have the potential to rebloom. While at least one hybridizer has claimed to produce regularly remontant daffodils, they’re not readily available, so it’s worth trying to seduce repeat blooms out of the classics.

‘Barrett Browning’ doubled. The doubled petals and distorted or absent corona are typical in rebloom. Occasionally, the corona turns into more-refined petaloids. Photo by Ben Whitacre



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