When to plant daffodil bulbs – there's still time, but you'll need to be quick

Are you too late to plant daffodil bulbs? Experts advise whether January is a safe time to do it

Daffodils growing in the garden
(Image credit: Getty Images/Jacky Parker Photography)

Daffodils are widely loved and known as the brightest of classic spring flowers. Often associated with Easter and the beginning of spring, daffodil bulbs also don’t take very long to flower from planting. But you might be wondering when to plant daffodil bulbs and whether you’re too late now.

If you’ve waited this long to plant your daffodil bulbs, then you’ve certainly left it to the very last minute. But after consulting our gardening experts, it turns out that in fact you can plant bulbs in January. As long as the weather and soil conditions check a few necessary boxes.

But you don’t have much time left if you’re looking for those bright, sunny blooms to adorn your borders come February (as daffodils traditionally do). So better get to it as soon as possible.

Winter Narcissi: Narcissus papyraceus 'Ziva' / paperwhite daffodil bulbs on top of antique books.

(Image credit: Future PLC)

When to plant daffodil bulbs

While knowing how to plant daffodil bulbs is important for your gardening success, getting the timing right is even more key. And while January is not typically the recommended month, experts say there is a possibility you can make it work.

‘The best time to plant daffodil bulbs is typically in the autumn, from September to November,’ says Jack Sutcliffe, gardening expert and co-founder of Power Sheds. ‘This then allows the bulbs to establish their roots before the winter and be ready to bloom in the spring.’

But Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench, adds, ‘However, if you've missed this deadline you can plant daffodils up until January, as long as the ground isn't frozen.’

That’s right, there is still time to plant the essential ingredient for your bulb lasagne (if you know, you know).

Where to buy daffodil bulbs:

Narcissus 'Tête-à-tête': a close-up shot of the yellow flowers of this smaller daffodil variety

(Image credit: Crocus)
Steve Chilton portrait
Steve Chilton

Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field. As the director of LeisureBench, an industry-leading garden furniture company, Steve has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants. 


What is the best month to plant daffodil bulbs?

Traditionally, the best time when to plant bulbs for spring is in autumn, specifically from September to November.

‘In the UK, the best time to plant daffodil bulbs is in autumn from September to November because planting during this season allows the bulbs to shoot roots earlier before winter sets in, and they'll be able to bloom in the spring,’ says Petar Ivanov, gardening expert at Fantastic Gardeners. ‘The ideal time for planting the bulbs is at least six weeks earlier than the ground freezes, giving them enough time to develop a strong root system.’

A mass of daffodil bulbs spread across a table

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is it too late to plant daffodil bulbs now?

It’s down to the wire but if the ground isn’t frozen, you can plant daffodil bulbs up to January, in other words now. But there is not much time left.

What way up do you plant daffodil bulbs?

‘Place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end facing up,’ Jack advises how to plant bulbs.

Tree espaliered against a grey wood clad wall with flowerbed of daffodils and gravel below.

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Now run, don’t walk as your time to plant daffodils is running out.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.