Daffodil, bulbous plant and namesake of the amaryllis family. Daffodils like humus-rich soil and a spot in partial shade.

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Photo: Uberprutser - CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Daffodils are highly toxic; even to dogs and cats. They contain, especially in the bulbs, lycorine, a toxic nitrogen compound suspected of protecting the plant from predation. The stems contain moisture that can cause skin irritation.

Daffodil(narcissus). Bulbous plant and namesake of the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae). Daffodils like humus-rich soil and a spot in partial shade.
Daffodils need a period of cold to grow.
Planting depth twice the height of the bulb (+ 17 cm); distance between bulbs + 15 cm; planting in October.
Once the daffodil begins to wilt, cut away the stem and clean up flower remnants. This prevents diseases and fungi from settling in the flower remains. Leave the leaves in place and do not remove them even when they wither: the nutrients from the leaves go back into the bulb.
If daffodils are in a good spot, they multiply easily and form large groups. However, often the flower does get a little smaller each year, but there are more and more of them.
Even in the vase, daffodils secrete substances that are toxic to other plants. Therefore, other flowers, such as tulips, put in one vase with daffodils tolerate the daffodils poorly. A little plant food prevents premature wilting of the other flowers.


Daffodil bulbs show corked spots with one or more holes at the edges. The bulbs are also somewhat smaller than the others from the same crop and are also darker in colour. When the bulb is cut, one or more tunnels are found containing a larva: Narcissus bulb fly (Merodon equestris).

Brown streaks on the roots from which the bulbs are affected. The streaks become dark brown spots, under which the bulb rots away and the water balance is disturbed. The water supply falters, the daffodil starts drooping, yellowing and dying: northern root lesion (Pratylenchus penetrans).

It starts with round, yellowish spots on the leaves. If there are many more, the leaves become misshapen, twisted and swollen here and there. Daffodil lags in growth and eventually dies: stem nematode (Ditylenchus dipsaci).

recognize gnaw damage to daffodil
Eaten daffodil flowers, photo: Nico de Vries

Holes in the flowers; sometimes the flowers are almost completely eaten away. Sometimes some snail poop is left behind: snails and slugs.

Fungi & diseases

Small pointed infestations in the tips of unfurling leaves. Red discolorations appear around the affected spots: leaf scorch (daffodil) (Peyronellaea curtisii). Initially, the infestations look like frost damage.

The bulb turns dark brown at the roots, sometimes grey. The bulb softens and between the skirts is white or pink fungus. Usually the infestation is not seen until the s have been stored for some time: bulb rot/fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum).

Yellow-green, circle-shaped spots on leaves; serpentine lines: Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV).


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