Dance of the Daffodils

The golden blossoms of daffodils herald the arrival of spring in the Lowountry, and did you know the flowers also symbolize friendship?

Daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus. The flowers are trumpet-shaped and set against a star-shaped background of petals. Often the trumpet is in a contrasting color from the petals. Daffodils are hardy and easy perennials to grow in coastal South Carolina. Plant the bulbs in autumn and they will bloom in early spring.

If you forgot to do this last fall—or have a brown thumb—you’re in luck this year. Chuck and Diane Merrick of UPick Daffodils in Bluffton are planning to be open into March. Check their website or call before you head out, because they’re closed some days to let the daffodils rejuvenate. Daffodils are $0.25 per stem (cash or check only), and employees at the fields put them in plastic bags with a little water and a rubberband.

The Merricks are expanding the acreage they devote to daffodils.

“By the 2019 season we should have basically doubled the size of our fields and parking areas. We’re also getting started on replanting trees along the sides of the field,” the couple wrote on their website.


daffodils2Plant daffodil bulbs in November or early December.

Select a site that offers full sun or partial shade.

Most daffodils tolerate a range of soils but grow best in moderately fertile, well-drained soil that is kept moist during the growing season.

Many of the popular species prefer neutral to acidic soils, but some prefer slightly alkaline soils, so consult your local nursery to see which is best for your daffodil variety.

Select high-quality daffodil bulbs that have not dried out. The larger the bulb, the better.

Plant bulbs 1-½ to 5 times their own depth.

Daffodils will tolerate some crowding, but they prefer to be spaced 3 to 6 inches apart.

If needed, sprinkle a little bulb fertilizer in the hole during planting.

Resist the temptation to uncover spring-flowering plants such as daffodils. The shoots will benefit from protection against drying winds.


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