Daffodils grow naturally in clumps over time, so it’s not good to plant new bulbs closely in pre-arranged clumps.
Healthy daffodil bulbs will produce “daughter” bulbs over time and form clumps independently. For this reason, it’s best to give each bulb enough room to spread and grow.
Plant groupings of daffodil bulbs rather than aiming for clumps right from the start.
To do this, plant ten bulbs together. Use seven to create a circle, and then plant the remaining three in the circle’s center. This will present a nice grouping without crowding your bulbs.
How To Plant Groupings Or Clumps Of Daffodils In Your Garden?
- Choose the right time of year. In USDA hardiness zones 4 through 6, plant your bulbs in the fall when they become available at your local garden center.
- To plant in a loose grouping as described above, begin by digging a hole that is two times deeper (plus one inch) than your bulbs measure in width. It should be large enough to accommodate the ten bulbs you plan, leaving a bulb’s width between each.
You don’t want them touching each other. The bulbs need room to set roots now and develop daughter bulbs in the future.
- Create a mixture of good soil to fill the hole. It should be light, airy, and well-draining.
Mix it in about half and half with some gardening mix if you have sandy soil. If you have clay soil, you may wish to discard it or only use a small amount in your filling mix.
- Add a 1″-2″ inch layer of your prepared soil mixture into the bottom of the hole and add a handful of granulated bulb fertilizer. Mix it into the soil to prevent burning your bulbs.
- Arrange your bulbs on the surface of the layer of soil (pointy side up). Fill in around them and cover with your remaining amended soil mixture.
They should be well covered with a layer of soil twice as deep as the bulb’s width. This good layer of soil will help protect them from freezing in the winter.
- Water your bulbs well, and add more soil as needed to cover them.
- Add a layer of pine needles, chopped leaves, or other organic mulch to help hold in moisture and protect against freezing.
How To Naturalize Clumps Of Daffodils?
Some gardeners define “clumps” as small, loosely spaced, naturalized groupings. To plant this type of clump, follow the directions in this video:
Notice that the presenter digs a square hole in the grass, drops a bulb in each corner, and puts the turf back in place.
You may need to water the bulbs if the weather is dry when using this method.
You don’t need to mulch over them because the grass turf will provide insulation against freezing.
Loose Groups Of Daffodils Become Clumps
If all goes well, your groupings of daffodils will emerge in the springtime and reward your efforts with lovely blooms.
In subsequent years, your bulbs will produce offspring and grow into clumps.
You’ll need to dig them up and separate them to prevent them from becoming overcrowded when this happens.
Don’t worry. You only have to divide clumps of daffodils about once every 5 years.