Daffodils are one of the most reliable spring bulbs for the Southeast. Not all cultivars, though, survive the summer and come back year after year. The following cultivars have a proven track record in the Coastal Plain region, meaning they have bloomed reliably and lasted in my yard for five to 20 years.
‘Ice Follies’ is a large-flowered, early cultivar with a white perianth, which is made up of the star-shaped flat petals, and a yellow trumpet, the upright center petals. The trumpet, also called the cup, fades to pale yellow as the flowers age.
‘Ceylon’ is a bold, large-flowered, early to mid-season cultivar with a yellow perianth and trumpet. The edge of the trumpet is an eye-catching red-orange.
‘Tete-a-tete’ is supposedly the most widely planted daffodil. The perianth is bright yellow, and the trumpet is golden yellow. The leaves are green, unlike most daffodil leaves, which are blue-green. In the right spot, these bulbs will multiply (“naturalize”) to form a dense clump. This miniature, which grows between 9 and 12 inches tall, looks good paired with taller daffodils that bloom at the same time, like ‘Ceylon.’
‘Geranium’ is a narcissus, that is, a type of daffodil with a white perianth and a short trumpet, usually some shade of orange. The six perianth petals are wider and shorter than those of daffodils. Most flower stalks have two or three flowers. ‘Geranium’ is one of the few heat-tolerant, late-blooming cultivars.
Now is the time to order daffodils, as the supply of bulbs is tight this year. They can be planted any time before Dec. 1.
For more information on daffodils, see HGIC 1155, Spring-Flowering Bulbs.