10 of the Best Daffodil Bulbs to Plant This Fall

Plant these daffodil bulbs now for a burst of sunny blooms in spring.

Dare to go daffodil! From classic to quirky, daffodils are a fail-safe way to cheer up any garden. Order bulbs early for the best selection, plant in the fall and enjoy the flowers for many springs to come. To get you started, here are some of our favorite daffodil bulbs. You may be surprised how many heights, colors, and shapes that daffodils come in.

You may also be surprised by how many different names these spring beauties go by: daffodil (of course), narcissus, and jonquil. Daffodil is the common name given to the plants by English-speaking people. Narcissus is the group’s botanical name, which many gardeners now use as its common name, too. And jonquils are a specific type of narcissus (Narcissus jonquilla), including popular varieties such as Baby Moon, Beautiful Eyes, Lemon Sailboat, Martinette and Pipit. Jonquils usually have one to three small fragrant flowers per stem with more cylindrical pointed leaves.

Make sure to plant your daffodil bulbs before the first frost of the season, preferably in early autumn. Best advice for how to plant daffodils? Plant twice as deep as the bulb is tall. You should also pick a daffodil bulb that will grow well in your plant zone. (If you’re not sure where or what your plant zone is, check out our handy guide here: How Plant Zones Work and How to Find Yours)

photo credit: White Flower Farm

Actaea

Actaea, Zones 3 to 8

This member of the poeticus group stands out in the garden thanks to its distinctive look: red-rimmed short trumpets skirted by large white petals. It has a fantastic fragrance, multiplies without a fuss and makes a great cut flower.

Why we love it: Actaea is an heirloom that keeps spring going a little longer because it blooms later in the season.

Where to buy it: White Flower Farm

photo credit: Longfield-Gardens.com

Tête-à-Tête

Tête-à-Tête, Zones 4 to 9

A top 10 list wouldn’t be complete without the super popular Tête-à-Tête miniature daffodil. Although it stands only 5 to 8 inches tall, its buttery yellow flowers make this spring bloom noticeable even from a distance. Force them indoors, grow them in containers or tuck them into perennial plantings for an extra dash of color.

Why we love it: The early blossoms are a welcome sign that spring has arrived at last.

Where to buy it: Longfield Gardens

photo credit: Longfield-Gardens.com

Cassata

Cassata, Zones 3 to 8

Add something different to your early or midspring garden with this charming flower. Ruffles of lemony yellow lie against white petals, making it look more like an anemone than a daffodil. The blossoms eventually fade to off-white, adding another dimension to your backyard display.

Why we love it: Cassata may look delicate, but this vigorous grower holds its own among other daffodils and seasonal flowers.

Where to buy it: Longfield Gardens

photo credit: Longfield-Gardens.com

Sherborne

Sherborne, Zones 3 to 8

Double your daffodils with double-flowering varieties. This award-winning cultivar has twice the usual number of outer petals and charming two-tone centers. Sherborne’s giant blooms have strong stems, so these beauties stand tall.

Why we love it: Its impressive double blooms show up midseason and just don’t quit. Like all daffodils, it’s resistant to hungry deer and rabbits.

Where to buy it: Longfield Gardens

photo credit: Breck's

Hoop Petticoats

Hoop Petticoats, Zones 6 to 9

Look closely at how this plant’s saffron trumpets turn downward and you’ll see how it got its common name. (The botanical name is Narcissus bulbocodium.) Hoop Petticoats, like other daffodils are happiest in full sun or part shade and in average and well-drained soils.

Why we love it: These 4- to 5-inch tall daffodils, originally native to Western Europe, are right at home in rock gardens, troughs or small-scale plantings.

Where to buy it: Breck’s

photo credit: Brent and Becky's

Avalanche

Avalanche, Zones 6 to 9

These midsized daffodils are longtime favorites in southern gardens. Like paperwhites, they grow in sweetly fragrant clusters of 10 to 20 little white and yellow blooms. Plant them in combination with colorful tulips or pansies to really show them off.

Why we love it: Thomas Jefferson was a fan! But he probably knew the Avalanche daffodils growing at Monticello by the name Seventeen Sisters. They can be grown indoors or, where climate allows, outdoors.

Where to buy it: Brent and Becky’s

photo credit: Bluestone Perennials

Baby Moon

Baby Moon, Zones 4 to 9

It may be only 6 to 12 inches tall, but don’t overlook Baby Moon. The one or two flowers on each stem are among the most fragrant out there. Heat-tolerant, it makes a wonderful cut flower.

Why we love it: A jonquil-type daffodil, Baby Moon has short reedlike leaves that are easily masked by surrounding foliage.

Where to buy it: Bluestone Perennials 

photo credit: Longfield-Gardens.com

Thalia

Thalia, Zones 3 to 9

Brighten up your night garden with this midspring bloom. The narrow petals create the perfect backdrop for outward-facing trumpets, and it’s a snap for new gardeners to grow, especially in the South. This fragrant heirloom has a history dating to 1916.

Why we love it: Often called the whitest of the white daffodils, this plant produces up to five pure white flowers per stem.

Where to buy it: Longfield Gardens

photo credit: Longfield-Gardens.com

Tahiti

Tahiti, Zones 3 to 8

Bring out the tropical side of your landscape with this long-lasting, heat-resistant daffodil. The red-orange ruffles accent sunny blooms, making it a standout in
the garden.

Why we love it: This striking charmer is one of the most sturdy and reliable double-flowering daffodils you’ll find.

Where to buy it: Longfield Gardens

photo credit: Longfield-Gardens.com

Yellow River

Yellow River, Zones 3 to 8

Traditionalists love this classic golden daffodil. It has graced gardens for more than 50 years with its big trumpets backed by thick, cheerful petals. Like other daffodils, it grows best in full sun to part shade. For an earlier bloomer, check out another trumpet variety, Unsurpassable, which performs well in both northern and southern landscapes.

Why we love it: You can’t go wrong with this award-winning daffodil standby. Its bold color and sweet scent make it a wise choice for mass plantings.

Where to buy it: Longfield Gardens

Melinda Myers
Nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author, columnist and speaker.