Introduction

Narcissus species are members of the Amaryllis family, which originates from the area around the Mediterranean Sea. Narcissus is the correct botanical name but they are commonly known as Daffodils. There are approximately 8000 different species of Narcissus, grouped into 11 divisions. Flower colours include white, yellow, red, orange or pink in various combinations.

The most popular cut flower varieties are doubles of whites and yellows. They enjoy full sun in cool areas and some shade in warmer areas. In New Zealand Narcissus are grown for bulbs and cut flowers, mainly for the local market.

Growing Daffodils

Propagation: Usually from bulbs; seeds are used to produce new varieties.
Time of flowering: August, September, October.
Crop protection: Not required.
Soil type: Light, friable, well drained soils that contain organic matter. Sandy loam soils are best. Water during growth and allow to dry out when the leaves die down. pH 6.5-7
Fertilisers: A soil test should be conducted to evaluate any soil deficiencies. A general NPK fertiliser can be applied.
Weed control: Needed
Pest/Diseases: Bulb fly
Harvesting: Flowers are harvested when they reach the slightly bent stage and the head has split.
Marketing: Daffodils are sold on the local market or direct to retailers. Some export markets also exist for the white and yellow doubles.