Deer Resistant Daffodils


Posted by deer resistant gardener | Posted in flowers | Posted on 22-02-2010

Growing Dutch Master Daffodils

Everyone knows that deer don’t like daffodils. (After all, the bulbs are poisonous, and deer are clever creatures.) But gardeners love them for their beauty, reliability and versatility. While I’m partial to the traditional King Alfred’s for their huge cheery yellow blooms, there are daffodils (more properly narcissus) for every taste. You could put in a whole bed of pink ones if you wanted to. Nor are you limited to the classic single blooming trumpet form; there are 13 divisions of narcissus with flower forms ranging from the double through the Tazetta cultivars, some of which have 20 small flowers to a single stem. Being a traditionalist, I prefer the upward-facing trumpet shape. My personal favourites are daffodils that combine the trumpet shape with a flamboyant color combination, such as Narcissus ‘Tahiti’ (yellow petals and orange-red cups) or N. ‘Salome’ and N. ‘Jack Snipe’ (pale cream petals with an orange cup).

Short Narcissus

Narcissus are the backbone of the deer-proof spring display of bulbs; every year I put in another thirty to fifty, depending on my energy level. Besides the security of knowing that the deer won’t whomp them off just as they’re getting ready to bloom, I enjoy their versatility; daffodils aren’t that fussy about their site. They like sun, but will still bloom well in partial shade, and are ideal for underplanting trees and shrubs. Many narcissus naturalize, meaning you’ll end up with even more blooms than you planted, and if you wanted, you could even plant them in your lawn.

Comments are closed.