Planted in the fall so they’ll burst forth from the ground come spring, daffodils are popular for a good reason. For starters, these hardy perennials with a sunny disposition return year after year. Rob Yedinak, a buyer for Detroit Garden Works in Sylvan Lake, says another reason people are drawn to daffodils is because they have a better chance of multiplying over tulips if planted in areas that are favorable. And since they’re toxic to animals, deer and other creatures won’t disturb them.
At Detroit Garden Works, daffodils are planted in pots in the fall and stored in temperature-controlled rooms during the winter. “They’re also pretty easy to grow in the ground,” Yedinak says. “You want to get them at the proper depth. Each is slightly different, so you can just follow the instructions. Some people add bone meal or fertilizers, but daffodils are like buying a little battery pack. They’re already charged up and ready to go next spring.”
Gretchen Giles, owner of JJ Cardinal’s Wild Bird & Nature Store in Grand Blanc — an eclectic shop for bird essentials, garden and art supplies, and gifts — also appreciates the magic of daffodils. “You plant the bulbs in the fall and they bloom in the spring,” she says.
The less interference, the better, she adds. “The biggest mistake people make with daffodils is that you can’t cut them back right away,” she explains. “Cutting the seed head off is a good idea, but you don’t want to cut the leaves too early, or braid them.” Instead, she suggests waiting until they start to fade and change color. “You can give them some slow-release fertilizer during the blooming period, but daffodils are the simplest of all the bulbs. They’re dependable and reliable,” Giles continues. As far as special care goes, “They can’t be in a spot that lays wet all winter long, and they do need six to eight hours of sunlight.”
While daffodils come in a variety of shades of yellow, white, and orange, the bright yellow in the spring is just happy, Giles adds. “Daffodils are so constant and so consistent. With a wide range of bloom periods, you can get two months of plants that are easy compared to tulips.”
Want to take in millions? Belle Isle is a veritable treasure trove of bright beauty in April. You can help the cause by attending the fabulous annual Daffodils4Detroit Luncheon, which will be held at noon on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle. Tickets are $50 for the event, set to feature speaker John Gallagher
on The Return of Detroit, as well as retail shopping and works by artist Judy Duffy of Little Cottage Designs. Daffodils4Detroit’s goal is to plant 4 million daffodil bulbs in the tri-county area (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb). The initial goal was to plant 650,000 bulbs on Belle Isle, to represent each resident of Detroit. Since the beginning of the project, members of the group have planted more than 3.5 million bulbs. More information: detroitgardenworks.com, jjcardinal.com,