10 Top Daffodils for the Midwest | Midwest Living

10 Top Daffodils for the Midwest

Celebrate the season with cheery, colorful—and Midwest-hardy—daffodils.

'Bravoure': bright and showy

This two-tone flower features snow-white petals surrounding a bright yellow stovepipe trumpet. 'Bravoure' blooms from early spring to midspring and grows 12-24 inches tall. 

Great Midwest daffodils: "Tahiti"

A double daffodil! Swirls of bright yellow petals are accented by red-orange centers. 'Tahiti' naturalizes (reblooms and spreads) well and also makes beautiful cut flowers. Grows 14 inches tall. This showy daffodil won the 2003 Wister Award for garden excellence (the highest award from the American Daffodil Society) and the Missouri Botanical Garden's Plants of Merit designation.

Our flowers were photographed at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, which features more than 750 kinds of daffodils in its bulb collection. Visit in mid-April for peak bloom time.

Missouri Botanical Garden

'Fragrant Rose': appealing fragrance

A large-cupped daffodil, 'Fragrant Rose' features one flower per stem. "This is one of my favorites," says Bill Lee, a member of the American Daffodil Society and the Southwestern Ohio Daffodil Society. "It has the slight fragrance of a rose." Waxy white petals surround a long reddish-pink cup.

'Fortissimo': midspring blooms

Enjoy the midspring blooms of 'Fortissimo' outdoors, and then cut a bouquet to bring indoors -- this daffodil has strong stems and is long-lasting. The showy flower features yellow crepe-paper petals that surround a large orange cup. It grows 18-20 inches tall.

'Geranium': vibrant orange

It's "like little sparks in the garden," says Scott Kunst, owner of Old House Gardens Heirloom Bulbs in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The orange cup is sunproof, staying vibrant day after day. "The orange really holds up to the Midwestern sun," Kunst says. It grows 18-20 inches tall and is sweetly scented. "Enjoy the fragrance by planting a cluster near a doorway," Kunst suggests.

'Mondragon': yellow-orange split

Called a split-corona daffodil, this gorgeous flower features yellow petals that surround a flattened reddish-orange center. 'Mondragon' grows 13-17 inches tall and blooms in midspring.

'St. Keverne': sunshine yellow

Thanks to the canary yellow color of this 2007 Wister Award winner, Scott Kunst says it's perfect to "plant in a spot where you need a burst of sunshine." Originally from Cornwall, England, it grows 16-18 inches tall.

'Bravoure': bright and showy

This two-tone flower features snow-white petals surrounding a bright yellow stovepipe trumpet. 'Bravoure' blooms from early spring to midspring and grows 12-24 inches tall. 

'Ara': popular for mass plantings

Pure-white petals surround a bright yellow trumpeted cup, making this showstopper especially visible at dawn and dusk. This daffodil is one of the most popular for planting en masse. Grows 12-16 inches tall and blooms midspring.

Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder

'Ice Follies': Vigorous in the Midwest

This large-cupped daffodil blooms in early spring to midspring and features white petals with a yellow cup that turns creamy white as it matures. It grows 16-18 inches tall and is especially good at perennializing -- developing into larger clusters over the years.

Daffodil growing tips

Provide well-drained soil. Too much moisture can cause bulbs to rot. "Daffodils will take more moisture than most bulbs," says Scott Kunst of Michigan's Old House Gardens Heirloom Bulbs. But he recommends adding a handful of sand at the bottom of planting holes to aid drainage.

Site in the sun. Plant in areas that receive full sun to light shade; deep shade inhibits blooming.

Don't trim leaves. After the flowers have faded, keep the leaves. They provide extra growing power needed for next year's blooms.

Divide when flowers get smaller. Over time, one bulb becomes a clump of bulbs with smaller blooms. Divide every four or five years.

Mulch bulbs. Add a layer of shredded bark, straw or pine straw to regulate soil temperature.

Learn from pros. Get more information on growing daffodils from the American Daffodil Society (see link below).

American Daffodil Society

Daffodil display

Midwest-hardy daffodils in the watering can include 'Mission Impossible', 'Tahiti Mondragon', 'Red Hill', 'Sugarbush', 'Pops Legacy' and 'Pink Silk'.

Daffodil buying sources

If you're looking beyond your local garden center for bulb purchases, try one of these:
McClure & Zimmerman, Friesland, WI (800) 883-6998
Oakwood Daffodils, Niles, MI (269) 684-3327; e-mail oakwooddaff@hughes.ne
Old House Gardens Heirloom Bulbs, Ann Arbor, MI (734) 995-1486 
John Scheepers, Bantam, CT (860) 567-0838
Colorblends, Bridgeport, CT (888) 847-8637

Pictured: This vase holds 'Mission Impossible', 'Tahiti', 'Mondragon', 'Red Hill', 'Circle of Lemon', 'Pops Legacy' and 'Pink Silk'.

 

 

More Midwest Living flower tips

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