Gaabriel Becket


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Forcing a Pot of Daffodils for St David's Day

user image 2013-12-06
By: gaabi
Posted in: St David's Day

Last year, I decided I wanted a vase or two of beautiful, blooming daffodils on my table for St Davids Day. I knew you could force them to bloom indoors, out of season, so I started looking for directions.

Many websites have directions for forcing daffs indoors, in soil, 13 weeks ahead of when you want them to bloom. I wanted mine in water and rocks only, no soil, and I did it in twelve weeks, which was perfectly timed. If you want a vase of daffs on your table this March 1, try this about now:

Pick your daff variety. The classic daffodil is available all over but there are lots of cultivars: short-stemmed varieties, miniature jonquils, double blooms, short or long cups, different colors, many choices!], via Wikimedia Commons" href=""> Narcissus white
Narcissus cantabricus, daffodils or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons" href=""> Narcissus cyclamineus, daffodils
.], via Wikimedia Commons" href=""> Narcissus bulbocodium, daffodils

In case you didnt already know, daffodils are a member of the Narcissus genus and they're all poisonous. Don't let children or pets eat any part of the plant and the sap can cause dermatitis in some people, especially wash your hands if you're handling a baby after you cut daffodils or get the sap on your skin.

We were very lucky to get a present of some Really Welsh Duffydils from some lovely people a few years ago and I used these. I did this last year and took pics - these bulbs were a couple of years old, a 2009 product. I was a bit worried they'd be dead and wouldn't produce blooms, because they were so old, but they weren't - they worked perfectly!

Really Welsh Duffydils in the refrigerator door

II couldn't tell from their site if they're selling daffs by mail order. I though they were but can't find it, but give them a try if you want daffodils from Wales.

The American Daffodil Society has pictures of many beautiful cultivars to look at and think about on their pages: . They also have a list of suppliers you can order from , all over the world and including the UK, if you don't find what you want locally.

Wrap your daff bulbs in paper towels, root side down, and set them in open plastic sandwich bags in your refrigerator door. They should be stored at 35-45 - I think thats 2-7 -

At about six weeks or so, you should have some good roots and shoots on them.

Select your container. Make sure the one you select will support the variety of daffs you've chosen. It would probably be sensible to choose a deep container for big, long-stemmed varieties. I did one deep, one medium and one shallow. The flowers in the shallow container fell over a couple of times and wouldn't stand up at the end but before that, they looked frankly awesome in their low, glass bowl.

Take them out of the fridge and put them in a vase or container in a bed of pebbles or stones (or marbles or whatever), about two thirds up the bulb, root side down. Cover the rocks with cold water. They need light now, so move them to a cool spot in the winter sun, about 60 or 16 and watch them grow. It was mild where we live that winter, so I put them out on the porch.

When they get a bit tall and start to show blooms, move them to your table or wherever you're going to enjoy them (and show them off!).

They were bright and tall and beautiful, and they looked absolutely great on the table.

01/08/14 04:26:12PM @gaabi:

That would be interesting to try - of course that works on cut flowers but it would be interesting to see if the color will enter the plant's capillary system through the roots. If you try it, tell me or post a pic! Blue makes green on cut daffs.

12/16/13 03:17:40PM @gaabi:

Swansea, I should have thought of this before (and included in the blog) but try Breck's, they almost always in stock and they have tons of variety -

12/16/13 03:14:35PM @gaabi:

Harold, I would love to see a pic of yours this year, if you feel like sharing!

Hey, Swansea - sorry to hear about the ordering links! Try your local garden shop for this year I guess. I would start them right now - I can't remember exactly but I think that I put them in the rocks when the shoots were pretty big (as in the picture, where I'm holding it in my hand) and I don't recall how long it was until they flowered - the longest part was definitely while they were in the fridge. I'm trying again this year.
Let me know if you do it and how it goes!

Harold Powell
12/07/13 01:38:35PM @harold-powell:


Diolch! I appreciate this information!

I purchased a mountain variety of daffodil bulbs from the Snowdonia region of Wales several years ago to plant on my grandparents' and parents' graves. I had a few left over which I planted at my home. Each year (except for one) they're up and blooming by St. David's day. In fact, in some years I've seen these hearty plants poke up out of the snow to bloom. The bright green and yellow against the white background is striking! My domestic daffodils usually follow several weeks later. I wish I had more of these bulbs.

Ceri Shaw
12/07/13 01:42:43AM @ceri-shaw:

Diolch for the heads up....Gaabi's out right now but I just fixed the links for her....blydi Ning editor Happy