Not everyone has the space to devote to drifts of daffodils. But there are smaller species and varieties that are ideal for growing in pots or troughs to bring late winter and early spring cheer to gardens of any size. And by growing them in pots they can be moved to where they’ll have most impact.
Varieties are derived from naturally small species, such as hoop petticoat daffodil Narcissus bulbocodium or N. triandrus, hybrids between smaller species or selections of taller types and freely available at the moment from many outlets.
Plant over the next few weeks. As the bulbs are smaller you don’t need a deep container, so choose one that’s wider than high, ensuring pots have sufficient drainage holes. To get a sizeable display don’t use a pot less than 30cm (12in) in diameter and ideally use a loam-based compost that isn’t too nutrient rich, such as John Innes No 1 or No 2, or a multi-purpose compost with added John Innes. Planting and spacing guidance will accompany each variety, but if not plant bulbs so their tops are 2.5-5cm (1-2in) below the compost surface, and 5cm (2in) apart.
Firm the compost and water in thoroughly and place where they are to flower or temporarily in a quiet part of the garden, moving them into position when they start to perform. Keep the compost moist from when growth starts until the flowers fade, when foliage should be allowed to wither away naturally.