Narcissus, Tazetta - Narcissus

Narcissus, Tazetta - Narcissus

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Hundreds of species of bulbous plants belong to this genus, widespread in Europe and Asia; these flowers were already cultivated by the Greeks and Egyptians, in ancient times. There are hundreds of species, and as many hundreds of hybrids, selected over millennia of cultivation by man. The bulbs have medium dimensions, ranging from 4-5 cm in diameter, up to 10-15 cm; starting from the end of winter until the beginning of spring, they produce thin, ribbon-like, erect, gray-green leaves, 20-40 cm long, slightly rigid and fleshy; between the leaves rises a thin fleshy stem, with a quadrangular or triangular section, which bears one or a few flowers of variable size, according to the species. The flowers are characterized by a central cup, in the shape of a small trumpet, surrounded by a crown consisting of 5-7 petals widened outwards. The two parts of the flower can be of the same color or of contrasting colors. In general, all species of narcissus have colors in shades of yellow or white, but there are cultivars with pink or orange flowers. Narcissus flowers are also used as cut flowers, they have a very intense scent.


Daffodils are not very demanding. They bloom very well in the sun, but do not disdain partial shade and light shade. You just need to give them at least a couple of hours of bright light a day. However, keep in mind if we place them in a poorly exposed area they will bloom a bit late.

They are generally very rustic plants and, apart from the high mountain areas, they have no problem surviving even the coldest winters. This is why they grow spontaneously or have spontaneously grown in a large part of our country. Most of the daffodils are not afraid of the cold and are suitable for growing wild; they can be planted directly in the garden and do not fear neither the winter cold nor the summer heat. Some varieties, especially those with very early flowering, can be ruined by frost, so they are grown in an apartment or in a cold greenhouse, to prevent the winter frost from irreparably damaging the flowers. They prefer sunny locations, especially during the flowering period; if grown in pots it is possible to place the pots in the sun during the weeks of vegetation, and place them in a shady place when the bulbs are in vegetative rest.

Family and genderAmaryllidaceae, more than 60 species
Type of plantbulbous
Height10 to 30 cm
ColorsWhite, yellow, orange, pink
FloweringFebruary-May. Some bloom in the fall
ExposureSun-half shade
Water needsmedium

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The daffodils are native to the Mediterranean basin, but, over time, they have also naturalized in Northern Europe. They are part of the Amaryllidaceae family and include more than 60 species. Being a very popular plant, innumerable subspecies and cultivars have been created, even more than 35000. To classify them in an orderly manner, the British have decided to divide them into 12 classes according to the shape of the flower. There is also a thirteenth "section" dedicated to spontaneous varieties.

In general, the size of the crown and tepals and the presence of several flowers on the same stem may vary.


During autumn and winter they do not require special attention. In spring, and in pots, it will be necessary to intervene frequently, especially in the absence of rains. However, it is good to avoid stagnation. The vegetative period of the narcissus goes from February-March, until April-May; in general, during these months the climate is rainy or humid, so it is not necessary to water our bulbs. However, if there is a very dry spring, it is advisable to water the soil around the daffodils sporadically, so that it does not remain dry for very long periods of time. In the case of bulbs grown in pots, remember to check that the substrate is not excessively dry, but water sparingly. When the foliage begins to yellow, the bulbs enter a period of vegetative rest, and generally do not require further care until the following year. Remember that bulbous plants store nutrients inside them, in order to flower the next anus; these nutrients are produced thanks to photosynthesis, which is practiced by the green parts of the plant, therefore mainly by the foliage; for this reason, after flowering, let the foliage develop and cut it only when it yellow autonomously.


The cultivation of the tazetta species is very simple and rarely runs into any problems.


The daffodils should be planted in autumn, from October to November, however, before the frosts. They are not particularly demanding when it comes to terrain. The ideal is a good garden soil, medium clayey. They disdain only too light or peaty soils. It is only necessary, both in pots and in the ground, to avoid the risk of water stagnation. Therefore in the containers it is good to prepare a draining layer on the bottom. In the garden, if the substrate is too compact, we can extract it and mix it with sand. The bulbs must be inserted at least twice as deep as their height, slightly oblique to prevent the bulb from going deeper and deeper over time (which is common in narcissus). The distance between them is not important for their health. It is only necessary that they do not touch. If we want a full effect immediately, we can also place them very close together. However, we keep in mind that we will have to intervene more often by extracting and dividing them (at least every two years). If the system is more spaced, it will be possible to intervene even every 5 years.

From February to MayFlowering, fertilization, irrigation
From May to JulyEnd of the vegetative period, drying of the leaves, fertilization
July AugustPicking from the ground, division and conservation
From December to FebruaryWinter rooting


Narcissus grow in any soil, as long as it is medium rich and well drained. They do not like excessively peaty or humid soils. We remember that the daffodils tend to go wild, producing new bulbs every year; if we have little space to grow them in late summer, let's dig up the bulbs and thin them out. If desired, it is also possible to keep the bulbs in a cool and dry place and place them again in autumn.


The multiplication of the tazetta generally takes place using the cloves produced independently from the bulbs every year; the small bulbs must be detached and placed in the ground far enough apart, so that we have enough space to grow. Daffodils can multiply both by gamic and agamic way. The first option is strongly not recommended because the specific characteristics of the cultivar are lost and it is a very long process. The second one is really within everyone's reach. You must proceed at the moment of extracting the bulbs from the ground (the ideal period is June-July), when the soil is dry so that it is easy to clean the roots from the earth, simply with a brush. At that point, the cloves can be separated from the mother specimen. If desired, you can proceed with a water-based and fungicide bath to prevent pathogens from entering the wound. The bulbils in autumn will be placed in jars and treated normally, with abundant fertilizer during the vegetative period, to allow them to grow in size. They usually start flowering from the third year.

Division and maintenance

The division must be carried out at the end of the vegetative period, when all the leaves are completely dry. It is necessary to extract the bulbs from the ground and divide them from the lateral bulbs that have been created. They must then be dried in the shade and stored in a cool, dry place until autumn, when they can be buried again. To keep the bulbs well it is also important to prevent the flowers from going to seed, wasting energy. We then cut the flower as soon as it has wilted.


Like all bulbous plants, tazettas also need to be fertilized from the beginning of the vegetative cycle, from the end of winter, to when the leaves are completely dry. In the first phase it is good to use a fertilizer with a high content of phosphorus, to favor flowering. Afterwards, a product in which potassium is prevalent can be administered, which helps the plant to store nutrients in the bulb and to give blooms in the coming year.


They are generally very rustic plants and, apart from the high mountain areas, they have no problem surviving even the coldest winters. This is why they grow spontaneously or have spontaneously grown in a large part of our country.

Parasites and diseases

They are particularly afraid of very humid soil and lack of sun and ventilation, which favor the development of rot and mold. Sometimes they are attacked by spider mites and aphids.

Honor the deceased with daffodils

It is possible to honor the dead with a touch of elegance and refinement by relying on the singularity and purity of the Narcissus flower, which has always been a symbol of beauty and originality, as well as often associated with the meaning and sense of death. In addition to candidly adorning lawns, flower beds, gardens and terraces, but also interiors of the most varied, this bulb with an unmistakable scent is also particularly recommended to decorate even the most serious and busy occasions. Thanks to the toxicity of its head, this flower is particularly resistant above all to animal attacks and enjoys a particular degree of defense: in fact, a natural insecticide (called pyrethrum) expands from its flowers, which however does not negatively and directly affect humans. , as often happens and for the majority of insecticides of non-natural, but synthetic origin. Already in ancient times, first the Egyptians and then the Greeks had identified the narcissus as the ideal decoration to decorate their relics.

Narcissus flowers

We all know the narcissus and its beautiful flower but not all know that there are many varieties and cultivars that can be grown. The number of narcissus flowers and all varieties is not well defined but well over a hundred. In principle, it is possible to distinguish between some genealogies and some characteristics common to different species.

We can firstly group narcissus flower varieties according to flower color. In this way we find yellow-flowered narcissus, white-flowered narcissus and white-flowered narcissus with orange interior. These are the 3 main types of narcissus flower within which we can then find numerous varieties with similar but always different and particular characteristics.

The crown and the petals are two other parameters that distinguish the narcissus flowers. The color of the crown is an important and easy to see element to recognize the varieties but above all it is a very appreciated aspect from an aesthetic point of view. The petals, on the other hand, can be single or double and their shape is almost always the same.

Narcissus, Tazetta - Narcissus: Bulbs of narcissus

To grow beautiful narcissus you have to start with bulbs, but where can these bulbs be found? The answer is very simple: on the internet, in a garden center and for most of the year even in the supermarket.

THE narcissus bulbs once planted they can be left alone for many years. They will settle and multiply in the ground giving flowers every season. However, if we notice that some bulbs start to lose vigor and produce fewer flowers we can dig them out of the ground and cut them in two. Division will stimulate the bulbs and inspire them to produce beautiful new blooms.

Another small trick to not tire the bulbs is to remove the withered flowers and dried leaves from the plant through a light pruning. This operation will lighten the plant and its energy expenditure, allowing it to concentrate its efforts on the living parts, leaving the dried ones alone.

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