Dr. Z: Naturalizing Narcissus

Naturalizing narcissus is one of the best eye catching ways to show them off.  It is a planting method where the bulbs are used to create a random effect that makes it look like the bulbs have always been there naturally.  The more narcissus that you plant, the bigger the show.
As with any bulbs, be sure to pick healthy ones.  The bulb should be firm and give a little when it is squeezed.  Discard any soft, mushy ones  and any that are dried up and hard.
When the ground has cooled down, choose  site that has well drained soil and receives at least 6 hours of sun.  Do not plant them next to trees and perennials with extensive root systems as they will not perform well there.
If the soil is dense or compacted (like clay) amend it with sand or compost to allow for good root development.
Some gardeners like to apply a layer of mulch to help protect the bulbs against temperature swings and spotty snowfall.  Apply any mulch after the ground freezes.
The best naturalized look can be achieved by throwing the bulbs around by hand and planting them where ever they fall.  Any really bare areas can be touched up by just planting a few bulbs there to even the display out.

Another method is to plant them in random groups consisting of odd numbers of bulbs per bunch.
And remember that animals will not bother with narcissus and daffodils, so you can feel confident to plant them anywhere.
Call or stop by to see Dr.Z to get the rest of your gardening questions answered!

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