I am head over heels in love with daffodils. I think they are so cheerful, with the happiest faces that greet us after a long winter. While many people still think of the vibrant yellow daffodils, there are incredible varieties in white, cream, pink, coral, and more - with so many flower shapes! I've been sharing some of my favorites on Instagram as they bloom in the garden, and people keep asking for the variety names, so I thought I'd stick everything in one place on a blog post.
One of the things I love most about daffodils is that they perennialize if planted in the right conditions (6-8 inches deep), and if the foliage (leaves) are left in place, to die back on their own. The daffodil leaves absorb sunlight and transfer nutrients to the bulb, so if you cut the leaves back too early, they won't come back.
I recently interviewed Jason Delaney from PHS Daffodils for the Flower Friends podcast, and got to ask him about the unique varieties of daffodils he grows and hybridizes for his business (which was recently featured on Floret), his tips for growing and caring for daffodils, and his background managing the flower bulb collection for Missouri Botanical Garden. You can check out some of the incredible varieties he grows here, or check out his amazing catalogue here. I'm growing several of the varieties sold by PHS, but they haven't bloomed yet - so I'll add an update when they do. Jason pointed out that lilies and gladiolus are great companion plants for daffodils, to keep flowers blooming through the season.
I hope you'll enjoy a peek into some of my favorite varieties blooming now, and I'll add more as they appear in the garden.
I think Thalia, Yazz, and Precocious are currently tied for my all-time favorite daffodils to use in floral arranging, but it's ever-changing!
So sweet, delicate, and graceful, with multiple blooms per stem.
Yazz starts with buttercream petals (see center photo), which turn cream as it ages. I love the "sunset" of color and the pink eyeliner. Yazz often has multiple blooms per stem.
Precocious has a coral center, that starts off with some yellow, and deeps as it ages. In the center photo you can see Precocious in a bouquet, and in the last photo I've shown a comparison of three pink varieties: Precocious on top, Apricot Whirl in the middle, and Sunny Girlfriend on bottom.
I planted Apricot Whirl en masse in my perennial garden, and it is one of the first to bloom. The garden goes from being green and brown to suddenly filled with color, and no matter how hard I try to predict, they always open the same day and I can't keep up with harvesting them all! More for me to keep in the garden :)
What I love about Apricot Whirl is the color transition - they go from yellow centers when harvested to a warm pink by the next day or two. They last a long time in the vase, but for me the only slight downside is that the cream petals get a little papery and look slightly aged. However the papery look is misleading because the petals and centers hold up for a long time in the vase! The fluttery split corona is so dreamy.
This is another pink beauty with fluttery split coronas! I find the flutters to be slightly more delicate that Apricot Whirl, and the flower heads to be a bit smaller. The corona is salmon/coral on the edges and fades into cream and then yellow at the center. So gorgeous, this is definitely a top 5 for me!
For a side-by-side comparison photo of Precocious, Apricot Whirl, and Sunny Girlfriend, scroll back to the Precocious photos.
Replete is a double daffodil with layers of bright tangerine to coral petals interspersed with cream. I've found the ones harvested on the early side to go more tangerine, and when harvested later in bloom, more coral. You can see some of the color variation in the photos below. In the mixed bouquet, Sunny Girlfriend is the topmost daffodil, while the bottom four are Replete. On the left hand side you can see the more coral coloring of Replete.
One of my absolute favorites, this beauty has the most gorgeous red eyeliner around its yellow cups. I love the "fringe" on the cup, and the way the white petals are slightly reflexed. The flowers face out or upwards, which is wonderful for arranging (many daffodils point straight ahead or slightly downwards). This daffodil is so clean and enticing, and often commented on by visitors to my garden, and clients receiving bouquets with this daffodil. In the center photo below, Poeticus Actaea are mixed with Thalia, Sunny Girlfriend, and Apricot Whirl daffodils, as well as white and apricot tulips and white hyacinths. I love that color combo and wish I could transport the fragrance to you!
These have a large bright orange cup that is so vibrant and refreshing! I love them for a bright pop of orange in arrangements, or paired with crown imperial fritillaria!
I used several of my Tazetta Geranium daffodils in an arrangement yesterday, and forgot to take solo shots before I sent this out the door. It is the daffodil closest to the camera in the photo, right behind the front-facing big white tulip (which is Exotic Emperor), and just to the left of the central/tallest muscari hyacinth (blue).
Tazetta Geranium has multiple small blooms per stem, with cream petals and orange cups. I love the look and size of these, especially intermixed with other daffodils.
This beauty was sold to me as 'Irene Copeland', but the more I search online, I think it was a mislabel - very similar, but looks slightly different than the Irene Copelands online. I am going to reach out to Jason from PHS Daffodils to double check! However, this bloom is one of my favorites in the garden every year. The yellow petals start out bright, and then fade to cream. The thing that REALLLLLLLLY gets me is the green "dimples" on the back of the petals - I cannot get enough! This one looks like White Lion, but I've found the White Lions don't fade from yellow to cream (the yellow stays strong), have fewer petals, and don't "dimple" with green on the back.
These blooms are huge, and the yellow stays vibrant!
This was my first to bloom, and the centers are bright yellow when they open, and fade into creamy edges and a softer yellow center over time.
I hope you enjoyed these blooms as much as I do! All photos were taken by me - please do not reuse or share photos without my permission!
Wishing you a warm and flowery spring,