How to Plant Daffodils in a Pot for a Cheerful Spring Display

If you want to start, pick daffodil varieties that stay short and don’t make too much foliage. One of these is the very flexible Narcissus “Tête à Tête.” Others are “Jack Snipe,” “Hawera,” “Pipit,” “Ice Follies,” and “Carlton.”

Daffodils are one of the most beloved flowers of spring. Their cheerful yellow and white blooms signal that winter is over and warmer weather is on the way. While daffodils are easy to grow in the ground, did you know you can also successfully grow these bulbs in containers?

Planting daffodils in pots allows you to strategically place them around your yard, patio, or balcony. You can highlight these pots as decor pieces or use them as gifts for friends and family. Container gardening also gives you more control over the growing environment compared to planting in the garden. Read on to learn all about planting daffodils in pots for a gorgeous spring display.

Choose the Right Pot

To grow daffodils successfully in a container, start by selecting an appropriate pot Here are some tips

  • Size – Choose a pot that is at least 6 inches deep and 8-12 inches wide. This will give the bulbs enough room to root and grow properly. Shallow pots will restrict growth.

  • Drainage – Make sure your pot has drainage holes in the bottom to prevent waterlogged soil which will rot the bulbs. Elevate the pot on feet or bricks to improve drainage.

  • Material – Plastic, ceramic, wood, and terracotta pots all work well. Match the pot material to your decor style.

  • Weight – Bulbs will make the pot heavy when soil is added Pick a pot that is manageable for moving if needed

Select Bulb Varieties

Some daffodil varieties are better suited to containers than others. Look for these types:

  • Smaller bulbs – Miniature and tazetta daffodil varieties have smaller bulbs perfect for pots. Some examples are ‘Tete a Tete’, ‘Bridal Crown’, ‘Geranium’, and ‘Hawera’.

  • Shorter stems – Daffodils with shorter stems, such as cyclamineus types, won’t flop over in the pot as easily. ‘February Gold’ and ‘Jetfire’ are good choices.

  • Double blooms – Double flower forms like ‘Replete’ hold up well in pots and provide lush blooms.

  • Fragrant – Many daffodils are fragrant, which you will notice more when pots are near walkways or seating areas. ‘Thalia’ and ‘Golden Dawn’ have nice scents.

Use a Potting Mix

Daffodils prefer a loose, well-draining soil. A general potting mix amended with sand or perlite works perfectly. You can make your own by combining:

  • 2 parts potting soil
  • 1 part perlite or coarse sand
  • 1 part peat moss or compost

This gives a light, fluffy texture daffodil roots enjoy. You can also use a pre-mixed bulb or cactus/succulent soil blend. Don’t use heavy garden soil in containers.

Plant Bulbs at the Right Depth

Planting depth is important for proper daffodil growth. Follow these guidelines when planting bulbs in pots:

  • Place bulbs 4-6 inches deep in the pot. Measure from the bottom of the bulb to the soil surface.

  • Plant only one large daffodil bulb (1.5 inches or larger) per 1 gallon pot.

  • You can place 3-5 small bulbs together in a 1 gallon pot. Allow 2 inches between bulbs.

  • In 2-3 gallon pots, plant 5-10 bulbs spaced 2-3 inches apart.

Try to place the bulb about 1/3 of the way from the top of the pot. If you plant too close to the surface, the new roots will push the bulbs above the ground.

Set each bulb into the soil with the pointy end facing up. Cover bulbs with potting mix, water gently, and you’re done!

Provide Cold Treatment

Daffodil bulbs require a cold period of 12-15 weeks below 45°F to bloom properly. There are two ways to achieve this with potted bulbs:

Outdoor Cold Treatment

  • After planting, sink the entire pot in an outdoor garden bed so the top is level with the soil surface.

  • Maintain moisture. Mark the spot so you can find them later!

  • Around mid-winter, dig up the pots and move to a protected area until spring.

Indoor Cold Treatment

  • Place pots in a refrigerator, unheated garage, or cold frame for 12-15 weeks after planting.

  • Ideal temperature range is 35-45°F. Keep potting mix evenly moist during cold treatment.

Move to Warm Conditions

In early spring after the cold treatment period, move pots to a bright spot with temperatures around 60-65°F to stimulate growth. A sunny windowsill works well indoors. Outdoors, place in a protected area away from frost.

Water whenever the top inch of soil feels dry. Fertilize monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer to support vigorous growth. As bulb tips emerge, move pots into direct sun. Stop watering once the foliage starts yellowing so bulbs can go dormant.

Aftercare Tips

  • Remove faded blooms but keep foliage until it dies down naturally so the bulb can store nutrients.

  • Let the pot dry out in early summer once all foliage is dead. Store in a cool, dry place until fall planting time.

  • Daffodils may not flower well after the first season when grown in pots. You can plant the bulbs in the garden in fall and start fresh pots with new bulbs each year.

  • Alternatively, remove faded blooms after the first spring, cut foliage back halfway, and move the potted bulbs to a shady spot for the summer. Repot in fresh mix in fall for a second season of growth.

That’s all you need to know to get started growing daffodils in pots! With a little planning and preparation in fall, you’ll have stylish container plantings bursting with cheerful flowers next spring. Potted daffodils make great gifts, too. Pair with other early spring bulbs like tulips, crocus, and hyacinths in window boxes or mixed containers for continuous color.

Great Companions for your Potted Daffodils

Hardiness 3 – 9
Plant Type Bulbs
Genus Narcissus
Landscaping Ideas Patio And Containers

Choose Daffodil Varieties that Remain Short and do not Produce a Large Foliage Mass

how to plant daffodils in a pot

how to plant daffodils in a pot

how to plant daffodils in a pot

how to plant daffodils in a pot

how to plant daffodils in a pot

how to plant daffodils in a pot

Choose bulbs that flower at different times and plant them in the same spot to make the flowering season last longer.

Planting Daffodils: 5 Simple, Easy Tips for Success


Do daffodils grow well in pots?

Good news: daffodils will do just as well in pots and containers, giving you the freedom to decide exactly where you want these happy flowers to grow.

How deep to plant daffodil bulbs in containers?

How Deep to Plant Daffodils, Tulips, & Other Bulbs. The general rule of thumb for planting spring bulbs is to plant two to three times as deep as the bulbs is tall. This means most large bulbs like tulips or daffodils will be planted about 6 inches deep while smaller bulbs will be planted 3-4 inches deep.

How many daffodil bulbs should I put in a pot?

Plant your bulbs close but not touching each other. A gallon container can hold about five to seven daffodils, depending on bulb size. Because you want them to bloom the first year, don’t skimp by buying smaller bulbs to save money.

When should I plant my potted daffodils?

The best time to plant daffodil bulbs is in the fall (exact timing can range anywhere from September to late November, depending on where you live). The soil needs to have cooled off, but the ground still needs to be workable when you plant.

How do you plant daffodil bulbs in pots?

To plant daffodil bulbs in pots, follow these steps: Choose a pot that is at least 6 inches deep and has drainage holes. Fill the pot with potting soil, leaving about 2 inches of space at the top. Dig a hole in the soil that is about twice as deep as the bulb. Place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end facing up.

How to grow daffodils in pots?

Choose an 8″ – 12″ diameter container to grow daffodils in pots. It must also be deep enough to accommodate the roots of your growing daffodils, so it should be at least a foot deep. Containers that provide good air circulation to the roots and good drainage are best. Wooden or terra cotta containers with good drainage are ideal.

How do I grow daffodils for competition?

The following information is how I grow daffodils for competing in daffodil shows. For everyday growing, you can probably increase the number of bulbs placed in a pot. It is preferable to use 2 gallon pots for standard size daffodils and 1 gallon size for miniatures and small bulbs. Sterilize used pots with Clorox and let them drain.

Can you plant forced daffodils in the garden?

Planting forced daffodils in the garden is possible, but there are some special techniques and precautions you should be aware of first. Forcing bulbs like daffodils to bloom out of season is relatively easy, although it takes quite a bit of time, and it takes a lot out of a bulb. Many gardeners consider these bulbs spent and simply discard them.

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