When do Daffodils Bloom in the UK?

The first wild Daffodil to bloom in the UK, as measured by a car park in Somerset, was 11th February 2024.

This is it:

Hello, are you a daffodil?

Wild Daffodils start flowering when the soil temperatures reach around 10C, usually in February or March. In a warm winter like the one we’ve mostly had this year, we are seeing buds nearly ready to open at the start of February. In a cold year like those we endured at the end of the twenty-teens, they were opening over a month later and really flowering in April.
The earliest flowering cultivars (cultivated varieties) of Daffodil, like Irish Luck (only sold as dry bulbs in Autumn) reliably flower earlier, even in January sometimes.

This verge was planted a few years ago: transforming a boring strip of grass between the side of an office and a backstreet pavement into a yearly display of cheerful yellow…right?

Well, eventually

On the 3rd of February, this is one of two visible flower buds:

daffodil february with one bud

By the 10th of February

And pop goes the daffadowndilly: on the 11th of February 2024, we have daffodils in car parks across* the UK! These beauties are so yellow that my poor old camera can’t take it:

*we’re not going to check the other car parks, it’s fine, we trust them.

Wild daffodils can be planted in the green, which means when they are in growth in Spring, not dry in Autumn.


  1. Peter Harwood says:

    I have daffodils planted in the grass. probably planted 20 yrs ago. they have done well, but for the last 3 years, flowers have got less and less although the green leaves are always thick and healthy. I never cut leaves back until they have died back and mow over probably in late June. I feed early spring by broadcasting growmoe and after flowering for last 2 years have watered in tomorite. Oh, I also deadhead after flowering.
    Is it just time to dig up what is there and replant new bulbs? what is life expectancy of a daffodil bulb?
    many thanks.

    1. Ashridge Nurseries says:

      Hello Peter,

      This is normal – old congested clumps produce lots of foliage and few flowers.
      When the foliage dies back this year, lift and divide your clumps. Depending on the amount you are dealing with, you can do it the “more effort way” by lifting whole clumps and replanting the lot (in Autumn), or the “less effort way” using your garden fork to wiggle out chunks of a clump, leaving part where it is and only replanting the bits you dug up – either way, you give the bulbs space to breathe and flower again.

      If you have far more bulbs than you need, chuck out the tiddlers and only replant the largest ones.

      The dry daffodil bulbs we send out are ready to flower well in their first year wherever you plant them, but after that they need a sunny spot to flower well – clumps in shade will grow, but won’t impress with their few flowers.

      Good question about the lifespan of a daffodil bulb – I’m not sure. The issue doesn’t really come up, because they are reliable at forming self-perpetuating clumps, so the lifespan of one bulb is not important – the clump lasts “forever”.

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