The First Hint of Spring in the Garden: Early Season Daffodils

By Tonya Barnett | March 16, 2021
Image by Simotion
by Tonya Barnett
March 16, 2021

For many gardeners, waiting for spring requires patience. Depending upon where you live, the winter months are often a time in which gardeners are able to take a restful break from outdoor chores. Still, growers frequently find themselves planning for the next season, and eagerly awaiting spring. 

In my own garden, I frequently walk about the flower beds seeking the emergence of plants, and searching for the first signs that warmer weather may be just around the corner. Consistently, early season flowering bulbs have proven themselves to be among the most reliable plants for late winter and early spring bloom. 

Planting Early Blooming Daffodils

Each October, I try to add two or three new varieties of daffodils to my yard. Over the course of several seasons, I have managed to collect quite a few interesting cultivars. Double and split corona cupped daffodils are among the most popular with garden visitors and florists. However, I am always drawn to those which bloom at the very beginning of the season. These “first flowers” are such a welcome sight after months of cold rain, snow, and freezing temperatures. 

Daffodils are an excellent addition to the landscape for many reasons. I personally love their use in cut flower arrangements, and their ability to return one season after another. When planted with pansies and alyssum, my flower beds always seem to overflow with vibrant spring color. Early season daffodils are grown like any other spring flowering bulb, which makes them great for beginner gardeners. They are planted in the fall, begin to grow, and bloom when the time is right. 

By planting early, mid and late blooming varieties, gardeners can easily extend their daffodil display to last the entire spring. Most early blooming daffodils have more traditional colors and flower shapes ranging in shades of yellow, with large trumpeted cups. The exact month of bloom can vary greatly depending upon growing zone. 

In my zone 6b garden early daffodils begin to emerge from the soil in January. Blooms most often occur around the first or second week of March. Some of the most popular varieties of early season daffodil flowers are February Gold and Golden Echo. 

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