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Ice Follies (Narcissus 'Ice Follies') daffodil bulbs are a very popular large-cupped, single-headed cultivar that are supremely easy to grow in a wide range of settings for an early spring display.
The flowers are white, with slightly flattened, frilly-edged cups that open bright yellow and age to a creamy shade. This cultivar is particularly prolific and has an RHS Award of Garden Merit.
On its own or in our Naturalising Mix, this daffodil is ideally suited to landscape planting in lawns, borders, or wooded areas in full sun or partial shade. Reliable and robust, and spurned by deer, they are equally at home in more difficult areas like roadside verges. See the full range of narcissus and daffodil bulbs we have available for sale.
Plant bulbs in autumn (August-November) at one-and-a-half to two times their own depth, in full sun or partial shade. They can be planted in clumps, but avoid planting too tightly or you may inhibit flowering. Spacing of at least 10cm is ideal.
They prefer well-drained, moderately fertile soils but will tolerate a wide range of soils and pH including clay, chalk, loam, and sand. Waterlogged soils should be avoided.
The charming creamy flowers give a swathe of brightness in early spring (February-March). They will tend to face south towards the sun. They can be deadheaded when the flowers are finished. They will grow better in subsequent years if the leaves are left to die back naturally before cutting them. You can feed the soil after the leaves die back to encourage next year's display.
To plant in containers or for indoors, put the bulbs in pots at a depth or around 5cm in a loam-based compost in early autumn. Keep them outdoors in a cold frame until shoots appear, then grow them on in a greenhouse. Once the buds are opening you can bring them indoors for a lovely spring display.
They make a lovely cut flower but remember that daffodil sap can damage other cut flowers. To avoid this, place the daffodil stems on their own in water for a while before replacing the water and adding other flowers.
Daffodils are susceptible to slugs as well as Narcissus yellow stripe virus, basal rot, large narcissus fly and bulb and stem eelworm. Daffodil sap can be a skin irritant so handle all Narcissus with care.
Narcissus 'Ice Follies' is one of the thousands of cultivars of the wild daffodil Narcissus pseudonarcissus, native to Western Europe and still existing, although in much diminished numbers, in parts of the UK. The Dutch began cultivation of tulips, daffodils and other bulbs from the 16th century, and right up to today the UK and Holland remain the world's centres of daffodil growing.
Narcissus 'Ice Follies' was developed by Dutch breeders Konynenburg & Mark in 1953, in the small, blustery coastal town of Noordwijk. Perhaps the rough weather contributed to this being one of the most vigorous and sturdy daffodils you can grow. Many other white-flowered varieties are susceptible to root rot, but in 'Ice Follies' the combination of large white blooms and a sturdy, weather-resistant nature have combined to make this one of the world's best-loved daffodils.