10 of the Best Daffodil Bulbs to Plant

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From classic to quirky, daffodils are a fail-safe way to cheer up any garden. Plant these daffodil bulbs in fall for sunny blooms in spring.

march birth flowerCourtesy Candy Thompson / Country magazine

The Best Daffodil Bulbs

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, Yellow River, Sherborne and Martinette. 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 spring bulbs? 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.

Psst—did you know the daffodil is the March birth flower?

photo credit: White Flower Farm

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.

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photo credit: Longfield-Gardens.com

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.

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cool flame daffodilVia Brecks.com

Cool Flame

Zones 3 to 8

Add something different to your early or midspring garden with this charming flower. This large-cupped variety features snow-white petals and a bright coral trumpet.

Why we love it: Cool Flame may look delicate, but this variety holds its own among other daffodils and seasonal flowers such as allium.

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Psst—check out the best websites for buying flower bulbs online.

cheerfulness daffodilVia Eden Brothers

Cheerfulness

Zones 3 to 9

Cheerfulness is just one of many varieties that differ greatly from traditional yellow daffodils. The double flowers are fragrant and appear in late spring.

Why we love it: Its heat tolerance makes it a smart choice for gardeners in warmer regions. Like all daffodil bulbs, it’s resistant to hungry deer and rabbits.

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golden bells daffodilVia Nature Hills

Golden Bells

Zones 3 to 8

Look closely at how this plant’s trumpets turn downward and you’ll see how it got its name. (The botanical name is Narcissus bulbocodium.) Also known as the hoop skirt or hoop petticoats daffodil, Golden Bells are happiest in full sun or part shade and in average and well-drained soils.

Why we love it: These 6- to 8-inch tall daffodils are right at home in rock gardens, troughs or small-scale plantings.

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photo credit: Brent and Becky's

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 daffodil bulbs growing at Monticello by the name Seventeen Sisters. They can be grown indoors or, where climate allows, outdoors.

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pipit daffodilVia Brecks.com

Pipit

Zones 3 to 8

They may top out at 14 inches tall, but don’t overlook Pipit. The mini, star-shaped blooms are golden with white centers, fading to creamy white. They are easy to grow and will naturalize well in your yard.

Why we love it: These fragrant daffodils are wonderful cut flowers.

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Check out the 4 types of flower bulbs that gardeners should grow.

daffodil bulbsLongfield-Gardens.com

Thalia

Zones 3 to 9

Brighten up your moon 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, Thalia produces up to five pure white flowers per stem.

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daffodil bulbsLongfield-Gardens.com

Tahiti

Zones 3 to 8

Bring out the tropical side of your landscape with this long-lasting, heat-resistant daffodil. Tahiti‘s 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.

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dutch master daffodilVia Nature Hills

Dutch Master

Zones 3 to 9

Traditionalists love Dutch Master, a classic golden daffodil. For an earlier bloomer, check out Unsurpassable, a trumpet variety that performs well in both northern and southern landscapes.

Why we love it: You can’t go wrong with this daffodil standby. Its bold color and large, sturdy blooms make it a wise choice for mass plantings. Check out more of the best classic yellow flowers to grow.

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Melinda Myers
Melinda Myers is a nature and gardening writer whose specialty is attracting wildlife, especially birds, to the garden. She contributes regularly to the magazine Birds & Blooms, and lectures widely on creating gardens that please both human and avian visitors.