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Daffodil, Cyclamineus Types
The cyclamineus types of miniature daffodils are both delicately beautiful and tough enough to bloom with gusto through a variety of conditions. Because they’re more moisture- and shade-tolerant than other daffodils, cyclamineus types make an excellent choice for planting under deciduous trees or around shrubs.
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Part Sun, Sun
From 6 inches to 3 feet
3 inches wide
Since most cyclamineus types of daffodils bloom in mid-spring—the same time that early season tulips bloom—suitable plant pairings include species tulips and elegant Greigii tulips (known for their mottled foliage). Plant petite grape hyacinth, iris reticulata, crocus, and scilla at the base of tall small-cup hybrids for a color show that extends from ground level to about 18 inches. These daffodils are also excellent choices for nestling among perennials, because the daffodils often pop up before those perennials rise in spring. When the daffodil foliage begins to yellow and fade, the perennial foliage takes center stage and masks decaying leaves.
Cyclamineus Daffodil Care
Daffodils grow best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Improve poorly drained soil before planting the bulbs, or plant your daffodils in raised beds where you control the soil mixture. Daffodils grow best when surrounded by dry soil in summer, so skip the irrigated landscape beds.
Aim for a planting spot that receives at least 6 hours of sun a day, which may include the ground beneath a canopy of deciduous trees. Daffodil growth is nearly completed before deciduous trees leaf out in spring, which makes planting under the canopy of such trees possible. Bulbs planted under trees may require additional watering as tree roots can rob soil of moisture.
Plant daffodils in fall after the soil has cooled slightly but before cold weather sets in and the soil freezes. The base of the bulb should be 6 to 8 inches below the soil surface (shoot for 2 to 3 times as deep as the bulb is long). Space individual bulbs 6 to 12 inches apart. Make quick work of planting drifts of bulbs by digging a large trench and scattering several bulbs in the planting hole. Cover newly planted bulbs with a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch to prevent weeds and keep soil temperature uniform.
When daffodils finish flowering, the leaves go to work producing food and flowers for the following year. Although it is tempting to snip away daffodil foliage as it yellows, allow it to stand for about eight weeks after the plant blooms. At that point, pull up the loose and withered foliage and toss it in the compost pile.
Varieties of Cyclamineus Daffodils
'February Gold' daffodil
Narcissus 'February Gold' is a miniature selection that grows 8-12 inches tall. In the South, it may bloom in February; elsewhere it will be one of the first daffodils to bloom. The bright gold flowers are less recurved than most other varieties in the cyclamineus division. Zones 4-9
'Tete a Tete' daffodil
Narcissus 'Tete a Tete', whose name is French for "head-to-head" or "face-to-face," gets its moniker from its clusters of one to three flowers borne on petite 6- to 8-inch-tall stems. The bright yellow blooms appear in early spring. This miniature daffodil multiplies rapidly, quickly forming a mass planting in landscape beds or naturalizing in grassy areas. Zones 3-9