When and Where to Plant Narcissus

Raul is an Editor at BalconyGardenWeb and an expert in flower and herb cultivation based in Phoenix, Arizona. A frequent speaker at horticultural events, he is also an active contributor to Facebook flower groups. Holding an MBA degree, Raul blends his gardening skills with strong leadership and analytical abilities.
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Planting narcissus is about timing. In cold places, like the North, plant in fall from late September to late November. In warmer areas, plant in late fall to early winter. For moderate regions, mid to late fall is best. If planting indoors, chill bulbs for 12-15 weeks, then plant in well-draining soil. Place the pot in a cool, dark spot until shoots appear, then move to a sunny place. Learn more below.

Not sure about when and where to plant narcissus so that the plant flowers in all its glory? Well, we’ll tell you how to do it the right way!

When and Where to Plant Narcissus

Planting narcissus is all about the right timing – it guarantees better plant development and a long flowering period. These plants flower typically in spring – however, it can vary depending on the climate and specific variety. Let’s understand how to do it the right way.

When to Plant Narcissus in Cold States (Northern Areas)

In the cold regions, fall is the best time to plant these bulbs – which is ideally from late September to late November.

Before you start the preparation, do note that the bulbs need a cold period to grow roots before the ground freezes. For this, it is advisable to grow them at least 3 weeks before the frost hits.

In cold areas, the flowers may emerge later, typically in early to mid-spring.

When to Plant Narcissus in Warm States (Southern Areas)

In southern sections, where the weather is not that cold, you can plant these bulbs from late fall to early winter.

Do note that these bulbs need a slightly cooler soil temperature for healthier root development, and this time provides just that!

Note: For zones 9-11, where the temperatures might be high, you will have to pre-chill the bulbs in a refrigerator for 6-8 weeks before planting.

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When to Plant Narcissus in Moderate Temperature States (Mid-Atlantic, Pacific Northwest Areas)

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For moderate regions, again, mid to late fall is the best time to plant these flowers. This serves as an ideal atmosphere for the bulbs to establish roots before the winter comes.

Plant the bulbs at least 3-4 weeks before the frost hits.

Planting Narcissus Indoors (Forced Blooming)


When it comes to indoor propagation, well, this can be done year round without any problems!

To start the process, you’ll have to first chill the bulbs in the refrigerator for 12-15 weeks. Do ensure that they are not stored with fruits and vegetables.

After the chilling period, plant them in well-draining soil and water when the topsoil feels dry to the touch. Keep the pot in a cool and dark place till you notice the shoots appear. This is the time when you must move the plant to a spot where it gets 3-4 hours of direct sunlight every day.

Growing Daffodils in Spring

Well, you can do this by getting pre-chilled bulbs or potted specimens from the garden center. This way, you will be able to plant them right away and enjoy blooms in 4-6 weeks (For the potted specimens. Bulbs may take a few more weeks to flower)!

Where to Plant Narcissus?

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Before you pick the location for outdoor planting, you need to understand the sunlight requirements of the plant.

These flowers need at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight to bloom profusely – keeping that in mind, any spot that receives morning sunlight and afternoon shade is the best.

It is also important to plant these bulbs away from other trees and shrubs to avoid nutrient competition.

Important: Plant bulbs about 3 to 6 inches deep into the growing medium. Also, do check that the pointed end faces upwards. If you are planting multiple bulbs, space them 6-8 inches apart. 

Pro Tip: Plant the bulbs in clusters for a more dramatic display. You can also mix different varieties to introduce contrasting colors, heights, and bloom times!

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