Narcissus is a spectacular bulbous flower that is planted in autumn and blooms in late winter or early spring. Native to the Mediterranean, the narcissus is a profuse bloomer with beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers that emerge on slender stems through the elongated leaves. We find it in a wide variety of colors from white, white-yellow, yellow-orange, reddish to pink. Narcissus has many different species and varieties. In the Greek area, there are several types, the best known being the zampaki or tsampaki, which in the area of Crete is called manousaki. The plant reaches a height of 30-40 cm, and forms a cluster of about 10 white flowers with a yellow center. A well-known type of narcissus is the Poetic narcissus, about 40 cm high, which forms a single white flower with a reddish center, as well as the late narcissus, about 20 cm high, with small white flowers. Very popular species from abroad are the fragrant narcissus which bears yellow flowers and the multi-flowered narcissus which bears many small white flowers.
Narcissus grows very easily in almost all types of soil, but prefers well-drained soils. It needs a sunny or semi-shaded environment to thrive, while it does not bloom in the shade. Sunny locations have the advantage of partial shade, as after flowering, sunshine contributes to the next year’s flowering. Daffodil planting takes place from August to December and flowering occurs in winter or spring depending on the variety and the season of planting. The daffodil bulb is planted at a depth of about 10 cm and at distances of 10-15 cm between the bulbs. To plant the daffodil in a pot, we use general-purpose potting soil and give it good drainage by drilling holes in the bottom of the pot for water to escape along with a layer of gravel at the base.
Daffodils, like most bulbous plants, have moderate water needs, while overwatering can cause bulb rot. Similar phenomena occur in very wet soils with poor drainage. In the soil, before planting the narcissus bulbs, it is good to add compost and a little fertilizer. We apply fertilizer again immediately after the end of flowering, in order to strengthen the plant with nutrients for the next year’s flowering. Once the daffodil flowers start to bloom, it is best to keep the plants in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. In this way, we significantly extend the flowering period of the narcissus.