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Why Are My Daffodils Coming Up Early? What to Do With the Early Bloomers


Early bloomers in February. Photograph by Abraxas3d via Flickr.
Above: Early bloomers in February. Photograph by Abraxas3d via Flickr.

Probably not. Daffodils are very hardy and tend not to be bothered by cold or snow. In most cases, daffodil noses that pop up early won’t be harmed. The flowers are still safe below ground. However, if you do have a cold snap, the leaves may get frost damage. If it snows after the flowers have bloomed, so long as it doesn’t get too cold for too long, the flowers will be fine. If you’re concerned, you can add mulch around the plant, or cover the flowers with a makeshift tent, such as a cardboard box. 

How do you prevent early blooms in the future?

Narcissus &#8\2\16;Pheasant&#8\2\17;s Eye&#8\2\17; blooms about a month later than more common varieties. Photograph by Britt Willoughby Dyer, from Gardening \10\1: Pheasant Eye Narcissus.
Above: Narcissus ‘Pheasant’s Eye’ blooms about a month later than more common varieties. Photograph by Britt Willoughby Dyer, from Gardening 101: Pheasant Eye Narcissus.

If you are concerned and want to try and slow things down for next year, you can do a few things:

  • Plant them deeper: Most bulbs come with a depth range, plant them at the deep end of the range. 
  • Choose a later-blooming variety: There are some varieties of daffodils that bloom later in the spring.
  • Add more mulch: Mulch helps keep the soil temperature stable and allows the plant not to be exposed to temp swings.

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