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Best daffodils for your region

By: Garden Gate staff
If you’re wondering which daffodils are best for your garden, use these charts to find out the best daffodils for the Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest.

best-daffodils-for-your-region-pv: ‘Cheerfulness’ daffodils thrive in the Northwest and Northeast.

When it comes to spring bulbs, nothing packs as much “flower power” as daffodils. Why? Well, because there’s a wide array of species and cultivars with a huge range of hardiness zones. Because of that, unlike other spring bulbs, there’s a daffodil for almost every part of the country — including your garden.

daffodils-by-region-north-america-map-key

We’ve divided the United States and southern Canada into four areas with specific growing tips for each. Daffodils offer you easy-to-grow, long-lived color that you can enjoy every spring. And with so many to choose from, you’ll never run out of new ones to try! Scroll through to learn about the best daffodils for your region.

Best daffodils for the Northeast

Depending on your USDA zone, daffodils from almost every division (there are 12 official categories based on plant characteristics) grow here. About the only ones that don’t do well are the less-hardy tazettas and bulbocodiums. (And even these will grow along the coast where winters are milder.)

Growing tips

  • In zones 3 to 6, if your autumn is dry, water the bulbs after planting to get the roots growing.
  • For extra protection, put down a layer of chopped leaves or evergreen boughs once the soil freezes. Then pull the mulch away from the plants in early spring.
  • Trumpet, large-cup, small-cup, cyclamineus, poeticus, split-corona and miniature daffodils perform well in the Northeast.
Daffodil name (division) Petals / Trumpet Color Height USDA Hardiness Zones Bloom Time* Also Thrives In Comments
‘Actaea’ (poeticus) White / yellow 15 to 17 in. 3 to 7 Mid- to late SE, NW Long-blooming; red band on cup; naturalizes well
‘Beryl’ (cyclamineus) Yellow / orange 7 to 9 in. 4 to 9 Mid SW, NW hort, banded cup; heirloom narcissus
‘Ceylon’ (large cup) Deep yellow / orange-red 14 to 16 in. 4 to 8 Early to mid SE, NW Long-lasting up-facing flowers; naturalizes well
‘Cherry Spot’ (small cup) White / bright orange 14 to 17 in. 4 to 8 Mid- to late NW Flat orange cup; forces well indoors
‘Dutch Master’ (trumpet) All yellow 18 to 20 in. 4 to 8 Early to mid NW Upward-facing cup; forces well indoors
‘Tahiti’ (double) Yellow / dark orange 16 to 18 in. 4 to 8 Mid NW Striking, very double blooms
‘Mount Hood’ (trumpet) White / cream 15 to 17 in. 4 to 8 Mid NW Cream cup ages to white
‘Mary Gay Lirette’ (split corona) White / salmon collar 14 to 16 in. 3 to 8 Early to mid NW Large, ruffled cups start yellow, age to salmon
‘Sweetness’ (jonquilla) All yellow 12 to 14 in. 4 to 9 Mid SE, SW, NW Very fragrant; forces well indoors
‘Tete-a-Tete’ (miniature) Yellow / dark yellow 5 to 6 in. 4 to 9 Early NW Great for containers; forces well indoors

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Best daffodils for the Southeast

Since winters don’t get as cold here, plant bulbs about twice the bulb’s height, instead of the normal three times. Heavy summer rain and humidity can rot bulbs, so it’s best to plant them in raised or bermed beds with sharp drainage. Or you may need to lift and store them in a dry area over summer and replant them in the fall.

Growing tips

  • To protect the planted bulbs from intense summer heat, place them where they’ll get part shade as the weather warms.
  • In zones 8 and warmer, where spring is very brief, plant prechilled early and late-blooming cultivars as soon as you get them in fall. Water them in well, and give them a few good drinks through the winter if it’s dry.
  • Jonquilla, tazetta, species and some large-cup cultivars work well in the Southeast.
Daffodil name (division) Petals / Trumpet Color Height USDA Hardiness Zones Bloom Time* Also Thrives In Comments
‘Avalanche’ (tazetta) White / yellow 16 to 18 in. 6 to 9 Mid- to late SW, NW Clusters of up to 20 flowers; sweet fragrance
‘Waterperry’ (jonquilla) White / yellow 8 to 10 in. 5 to 9 Mid SW, NW Upward-facing yellow cups age to pink
‘Pink Angel’ (jonquilla) White / white 12 to 14 in. 4 to 8 Mid- to late SW, NW Cup has pink rim; fragrant; three flowers per stem
‘Geranium’ (tazetta) White / red-orange 15 to 17 in. 5 to 9 Late SW, NW Very fragrant; four to six flowers per stem
‘Grand Soleil d’Or’ (tazetta) Yellow / orange 12 to 14 in. 8 to 11 Early SW, NW Fruity fragrance; forces well indoors
‘Ice Follies’ (large cup) Cream / light yellow 16 to 18 in. 4 to 8 Early to mid NW Very popular; long-lasting; naturalizes well
‘Pipit’ (jonquilla) Yellow / white 14 to 16 in. 4 to 9 Mid SW, NW Long bloomer; three to four flowers on each stem
‘St. Keverne’ (large cup) All yellow 16 to 18 in. 4 to 8 Early SW, NW Showy flower; forces well indoors
‘Sailboat’ (jonquilla) Cream / yellow 10 to 12 in. 4 to 9 Late SW, NW Fragrant, dainty white flowers with swept-back petals

Best daffodils for the Southwest

You might be surprised to find that you can grow daffodils even in the hot, dry weather of the southernmost parts of this region. Triandrus, cyclamineus, jonquilla and tazetta are good choices for the Southwest.

Growing tip

  • Jonquilla and tazetta cultivars actually prefer the summer heat, but you’ll probably need to water them through fall and again in spring.
Daffodil name (division) Petals / Trumpet Color Height USDA Hardiness Zones Bloom Time* Also Thrives In Comments
‘Chinese Sacred Lily’ (tazetta) White / yellow 10 to 14 in. 8 to 11 Early SE, NW May need staking; fragrant; forces well without chilling
‘Katie Heath’ (triandrus) White / pink 12 to 14 in. 4 to 9 Mid NW Multiple fragrant, pendant blooms
‘Erlicheer’ (tazetta) Double white / ivory 12 to 14 in. 6 to 9 Early to mid SE, NE, NW Very fragrant; protect from wind; forces well indoors
‘Jetfire’ (cyclamineus) Red-orange / yellow 12 to 14 in. 4 to 9 Mid NE, NW Eye-catching in large drifts; naturalizes well
‘Peeping Tom’ (cyclamineus) All yellow 6 to 14 in. 4 to 8 Early to mid s NE, NW Long-lasting flowers with petals that curve backwards
‘Sweet Love’ (jonquilla) White / yellow 12 to 16 in. 4 to 9 Mid SE, NW Sweet fragrance; lots of flowers on each stem
‘Rapture’ (cyclamineus) All yellow 8 to 10 in. 4 to 8 Early NE, NW Petals flare back from long trumpet-shaped cup
‘Thalia’ (triandrus) All white 12 to 14 in. 4 to 9 Mid- to late NW Petite, very fragrant flowers; naturalizes well

Best daffodils for the Northwest

Almost every type of daffodil will grow in the area west of the Rockies. Plant bulbs in the fall before the rainy season starts, but don’t water them or they’ll be more likely to rot before the weather cools down. If you regularly get more than 5 inches of rain per month in summer, lift the bulbs (except for tazettas, which tolerate some summer moisture) like gardeners in the Southeast should. Most daffodil types thrive in the Northwest.

Daffodil name (division) Petals / Trumpet Color Height USDA Hardiness Zones Bloom Time* Also Thrives In Comments
‘Baby Moon’ (miniature) Yellow / gold 4 to 8 in. 5 to 9 Late SE, SW Sweet fragrance; many flowers on each stem
‘Barrett Browning’ (small cup) White / orange-red 14 to 16 in. 4 to 8 Early NE Forces and naturalizes well
‘Cheerfulness’ (double) White / light yellow 14 to 16 in. 4 to 9 Late NE Fragrant, long-lasting blooms; naturalizes well
‘Falconet’ (tazetta) Gold / orange 12 to 14 in. 5 to 9 Mid SE Musky, sweet scent; up to eight flowers on each stem
‘Felindre’ (poeticus) White / yellow 16 to 18 in. 3 to 7 Late SE Star-shaped petals; cup has red rim, green eye
‘Fragrant Rose’ (large cup) White / pink 16 to 18 in. 4 to 8 Late NE Rose-scented; pink-purple cup has green-white eye
‘Golden Bells’ (hoop petticoat) All yellow 7 to 8 in. 5 to 9 Mid NE Megaphone-shaped cup, narrow petals
‘Ice Wings’ (triandrus) All ivory-white 10 to 12 in. 4 to 9 Early to mid SW Fragrant, long-lasting, nodding flowers
‘Marieke’ (trumpet) All yellow 20 to 24 in. 4 to 8 Early SE, SW Long-lasting, upward-facing cut flower
‘Mondragon’ (split corona) Gold / orange collar 13 to 17 in. 4 to 8 Mid NE Spectacular showy flowers with strong apple scent
‘Surfside’ (cyclamineus) Ivory / white 12 to 14 in. 4 to 9 Mid NE, SW Large, showy, ruffled ivory cup

*Bloom time varies by area and elevation. For example, early cultivars may open in February in the Southeast and in April in the Northeast.

Published: Oct. 1, 2019
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