Daffodil, Tazetta Hybrids
Daffodil, Tazetta Hybrids
You can often catch the fragrance of tazetta hybrid daffodils (aka paperwhite narcissus) before you see these small flowering spring bulbs. This daffodil produces three to 20 short-cup flowers per stem in shades of white, yellow, pink, and orange. Warm-climate tazetta daffodil (which is somewhat less hardy than its large-cup cousins) is perfect for both Southern gardens and forcing. Some varieties give off a powerful perfume that can easily scent a small garden. Like all daffodils, tazetta hybrids thrive in well-drained soil that is somewhat dry in summer.
What to Plant With Tazetta Daffodils
Tazetta hybrid daffodils pair well with a host of spring bulbs. Since most Triandrus 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 Triandrus daffodils for a color show that extends from ground level to about 18 inches. These daffodils are also excellent choices for nestling among perennials because they often pop up before the perennials rise in spring. When the daffodil foliage begins to yellow and fade, the perennial foliage takes center stage and masks decaying leaves.
Growing Tazetta Daffodils
Daffodils grow best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Poorly drained soil quickly leads to bulb rot. 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 the 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. Plant daffodils so the base of the bulb is 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.
More Varieties of Tazetta Daffodils
Narcissus 'Minnow' is a fragrant miniature variety that produces four to six white flowers with clear-yellow cups on each stem. Flower stems reach 8 inches tall, but the foliage grows 15 inches tall. It blooms in early to midspring and multiplies quickly, making it a great choice for naturalized plantings. Zones 4-9