Daffodils are one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, and they’re a familiar sight not only in formal garden beds, but also growing in wide swaths in the semi-wild. However, daffodils are also a very popular potted plant, whether blooming indoors in late winter, or outside in containers on the patio or porch.
Potted daffodil blooms last from 6 to 10 weeks, depending on the variety and growing conditions. Once the sprouts have started to appear, it takes about a month until they bloom. While the foliage will die down after blooming, the bulbs themselves can rebloom for 2 or 3 years.
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How to Care for Potted Daffodils?
1. In early to mid-fall, fill a large clay or plastic flowerpot 2/3 full of a loose, rich potting soil. Set the bulbs atop the soil, almost touching, and cover them with additional soil. Water well.
2. Find a spot where your potted bulbs will get 12 to 16 weeks of temperatures between 40 to 45°F (4.5 to 7°C).
3. At the end of the chilling period, bring the pot out to a sunny spot at 50 to 65°F (10 to 18°C).
4. Water regularly until the flowers and foliage have died back. Once the flowers have faded, move the pot to a sheltered spot outdoors, and feed with a liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks until the foliage is dead.
5. Trim back the dead leaves, and set the pot on its side until the soil has dried. Store the pot until the fall when you will start the chilling stage again.
6. Alternatively, you can remove the bulbs from the pot and store them in a paper bag until fall, when you can plant them in the garden, and use fresh bulbs for potting.
Can Daffodils Survive the Winter in Pots?
Daffodils may not survive the winter in pots outdoors without protection for the bulbs, as the soil in the container won’t provide adequate insulation. It’s best to bury the pots up to their rims in a vegetable bed until early spring, or store them in a frost-free but cool location such as an unheated garage, preferably wrapped in bubble wrap or some other protection.
Potted Daffodils Temperature Tolerance?
Daffodils are early spring flowers, so they prefer cooler temperatures. They will last longest when kept at temperatures between 50 to 65°F (10 to 18°C).
When grown in the ground, daffodils are winter hardy as far north as zone 3, but when planted in pots they will need protection in extreme cold spells.
Do Potted Daffodils Come Back Each Year?
Daffodils are long-lasting perennial bulbs that multiply easily and survive for many years. While you cannot expect the same longevity from potted daffodils, you can expect 2 or 3 years of blooms in the same pot before having to replace them with fresh bulbs.
When Should You Plant Daffodils in a Pot?
The best time to plant daffodils in a pot is in early fall. Once they have been potted up, find a cool spot such as a refrigerator, cold cellar, or unheated garage to spend the next 3 or 4 months chilling.
How Long Do Potted Daffodils Take to Grow?
Once they have finished their chilling period, potted daffodils will take about a month for their foliage to grow to full size, and then bloom.
How Long Will Potted Daffodils Last Inside?
Potted daffodils can bloom for 6 to 10 weeks when grown indoors, depending on the variety being grown and the conditions in which they’re kept.
Keep them in a bright location. Avoid placing the pot next to a heating vent, or with too much direct sun, both of which can shorten the lifespan of their cheerful blooms.
Aim for an ambient temperature of 50 to 70°F (10 to 20°C) to prolong blooming as long as possible. Since you won’t be able to enjoy them while you’re asleep, move them to a cooler location overnight to keep the flowers fresh.
Water them regularly, but do not fertilize them until they have finished blooming.
Daffodils are a perfect bulb for forcing for late winter blooms indoors, or for using in outdoor container gardens in early spring. As long as you take good care of these hardy bulbs, you should be able to enjoy their flowers in early spring for 2 or 3 years.
Read my related plant articles:
- What to Do with Potted Plants at End of Season?
- How Long Do Potted Azaleas Last?
- How Long Will Sod Last on a Pallet?
- How Often Should You Water Forsythia?
Janice is a retired High School teacher who is spending her leisure years keeping busy with all sorts of projects. Aside from freelance writing, she’s an enthusiastic amateur chef, home wine maker, and tends a large raised-bed vegetable garden, while at the same time running a Bed & Breakfast.