A Trial of Scented Daffodils for Containers

Contents

A great many daffodil cultivars are listed as being scented, but daffodil flowers’ fragrances vary greatly, with some daffodil fragrances being more powerful than others, and some scents being more desirable and more pleasing.

Through my Daffodil Trials I have encountered a number of daffodils, which were listed as being fragrant, but when I grew the bulbs myself, I was disappointed to find that I was unable to detect any scent from their flowers however close I got to their blooms, and however many times I examined them.  Happily, a good proportion of my trialled daffodil cultivars have been truly perfumed varieties, with a number of these daffodil cultivars producing more glorious and covetable fragrances than the others, making these daffodils more desirable garden plants.

Naturally, some daffodils are more floriferous or showy than others.  With so many daffodil cultivars available, there are a great many daffodil varieties to choose from.  I want to help you to find at least one new daffodil favourite to call your own.  So, I conducted this Scented Daffodil Container Trial, to discover the most fragrant and long flowering daffodils, that grow beautifully in containers.

Scented Daffodil Container Trial

In 2017, I decided to run a Scented Daffodil Container Trial, to showcase the most beautifully scented, long flowering daffodils for containers.  I chose 14 different daffodil cultivars, all of which were listed as being fragrant.  25 bulbs of each chosen daffodil cultivar were planted.  I monitored the daffodils, recording their growth throughout the season, the results of which you can follow in this trial report.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ and Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’ pictured during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Containers for daffodils

First, I must tell you that this trial was far less exacting than my usual trials.  I am precise and meticulous in my work, I take great care to ensure that conditions are consistent for every plant I am trialling, throughout every trial that I run.  However, at the time when this particular Daffodil Trial was running, I had two other trials in process, which also required the use of containers.  The other trials both featured a greater quantity of each plant being trialled and a greater number of varieties on trial, so they required a far greater number of containers.  My trial containers are all exactly the same size and shape, they’re all made from the same material, but I simply didn’t have enough of these containers to fulfil all of my trials in this instance.  Rather than wait a year to run this trial, I made the decision to use my regular trial containers for my other trials and to use every single container I could find and manage to scrape together for this Daffodil Trial.  My trialled daffodil bulbs were all different sizes, meaning that this trial was more suited to having a mix of container sizes than the other trials I had planned.  For every daffodil cultivar that featured in this trial 25 bulbs were planted – the smaller containers were planted with 25 bulbs, and the larger containers were also planted with 25 bulbs, naturally the smaller bulbs were planted in the smaller containers and the larger containers were planted with the larger bulbs..

The containers I used for this trial were of a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colours.  These planters were made from a range of materials including: terracotta, ceramic, and plastic.  I allocated the smallest bulbs to the smallest container and the largest bulbs to the largest container; I shared the bulbs and containers out as fairly as I could.  I apologise that I could not be more exact in my choice of container, and that my containers are not all as beautiful as I should have liked.  I feel that the results of this trial are still interesting, relevant, and useful, despite these irregularities.  I hope that my Scented Daffodil Trial will help you to enjoy a beautiful display of daffodils in containers next spring!

Daffodils for containers

All of the daffodils that were included in this trial were chosen as they were described as being scented daffodils that made good container plants.  I had intended to include Narcissus ‘Sabrosa’ in this Daffodil Container Trial, but the container I planned to use broke, and so as I had 50 bulbs of this cultivar and only 25 of the others, I moved this miniature daffodil into my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial.  In my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial 50 bulbs of each trialled daffodil cultivar were planted into my trial beds, where they were studied and monitored, and the results recorded.  The daffodil cultivars that featured in this trial were studied in the same way, some of the daffodil cultivars featured in both this Trial of Scented Daffodils for Containers and in my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial.

I hope that the results from my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial will help you to find the most delightfully scented daffodils to plant in containers this autumn.  I hope you will discover some magnificent daffodils that will bring you joyful flowers and fragrance to savour next spring, and for many years thereafter.

So without further delay, here are the results of my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial:

Here are the results of my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial!

Scented daffodils

All of the daffodil cultivars grown for my 2017 Scented Daffodil Container Trial were chosen for this trial as they were described as being scented.  25 bulbs of each daffodil cultivar were planted in a variety of different containers for this trial.

I included the following daffodil cultivars in my Scented Daffodil Container Trial 2018:

I purchased the following daffodil bulbs from Jacques Amand International:

  • Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’
  • Narcissus ‘Bell Song’
  • Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis
  • Narcissus ‘More and More’
  • Narcissus poeticus ‘Plenus’
  • Narcissus ‘Raffles’
  • Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’
  • Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’
  • Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’
  • Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’

I purchased the following daffodil bulbs from J. Parker’s:

  • Narcissus ‘Verdin’

I purchased the following daffodil bulbs from Sarah Raven:

  • I ordered Narcissus ‘Keats’, but I received bulbs of Narcissus ‘Lancaster’

This grid shows a photograph of one bulb of each of the daffodil cultivars that were planted for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial. I have used a British fifty-pence piece to more clearly demonstrate the size of each daffodil bulb.

Compost

Dalefoot Composts Wool Potting Compost is a premium peat free potting compost comprised from natural materials including bracken and sheep wool.

 

All of the daffodil bulbs that were planted for my Scented Daffodil Container Trial were planted on the 22nd October 2017, except for Narcissus ‘Verdin’, which was planted on the 18th November 2017.  Although the containers for this trial differed in their size, shape, colour, age, and material, all of the containers were filled with Dalefoot Composts Wool Potting Compost.  I chose to use Dalefoot Compost for this trial, as every product from this brand has achieved top marks and great results in all of my Compost Trials for the past four consecutive years.  I may not have been able to have provided a uniform set of beautiful planters to plant the daffodils in for this Scented Daffodil Container Trial, but this trial, like all of my trials meant such a lot to me and I have given this trial everything I have.  I have used the best of what I have available.

Weather

None of the scented daffodils grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial received any protection from the weather, however warm, cold, wet, or windy it was outdoors.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ pictured in flower in the snow, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, on the 18th March 2018.

Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis pictured in flower, in the rain, on the 28th March 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial.

Flowering

The daffodil cultivars included in this trial usually flower from March to May each year.  The earliest flowering daffodils listed were: Narcissus ‘More and More’, which was listed as flowering from February to March, and Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’, which was listed as flowering from February to April.  While the latest flowering daffodils listed were: Narcissus poeticus ‘Plenus’ and Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’, which are both listed as flowering in May.

I have listed the daffodils below in order from earliest to latest in order, as they came into flower:

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’

The first daffodil grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial to come into flower was Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’, which opened its first flowers on the 11th March 2018.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ is a Trumpet Daffodil Cultivar, from Division 1 of the RHS Daffodil Classification System. This Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ flower is a few days old, pictured on the 16th March 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial.

Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis

Next to flower was Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis, whose first flower opened on the 14th March 2018.

Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis, is a daffodil cultivar from Division 13 of the RHS Daffodil Classification System. This Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis flower is pictured during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, on the 16th March 2018.

Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’

The third daffodil cultivar to come into flower was Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’, which began flowering on the 28th March 2018.

Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’ is a daffodil from Division 12 of the RHS Daffodil Classification System. Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’ pictured in flower, in the rain, on the 28th March 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial.

Narcissus Lancaster’

In joint fourth place, Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ began flowering on the 9th April 2018.

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ is a Small Cupped Daffodil Cultivar, from Division 3 of the RHS Daffodil Classification System. Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ is pictured in flower, on the 20th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’

In joint fourth place, Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ began flowering on the 13th April 2018.

This Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ flower was grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, this daffodil is pictured on the 17th April 2018.

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ tied for fourth place, this daffodil cultivar began flowering on the 13th April 2018.

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ is a Triandrus Daffodil Cultivar, from Division 5 of the RHS Daffodil Classification System. This Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ flower is pictured on the 14th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial.

Narcissus ‘Raffles’

In fifth place, the first Narcissus ‘Raffles’ flowers opened on the 14th April 2018.

Narcissus ‘Raffles’ is a Double Daffodil Cultivar from Division 4 of the RHS Daffodil Classification System. These Narcissus ‘Raffles’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Verdin’

In sixth place, Narcissus ‘Verdin’ began flowering on the 15th April 2018.

Narcissus ‘Verdin’ is a Jonquil Daffodil Cultivar, from Division 7 of the RHS Daffodil Classification System. Narcissus ‘Verdin’ pictured on the 17th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Bell Song’

In joint seventh place, the first Narcissus ‘Bell Song’ flowers opened on the 20th April 2018.

Narcissus ‘Bell Song’ is a jonquil daffodil cultivar, from Division 7 of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Daffodil Classification System. These flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘More and More’

In joint seventh place, the first Narcissus ‘More and More’ flowers opened on the 20th April 2018.

Narcissus ‘More and More’ is a jonquil daffodil cultivar, from Division 7 of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Daffodil Classification System. These flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’

In eighth place, the first Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ flowers opened on the 6th May 2018.

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ is a jonquil daffodil cultivar, from Division 7 of the RHS Daffodil Classification System.  Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ is pictured on the 14th April 2017, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Non flowering daffodils

Narcissus poeticus ‘Plenus’

None of the 25 Narcissus poeticus ‘Plenus’ bulbs that were grown for this Scented Daffodil Container Trial flowered.

Colour Changing Daffodils

The flowers of many daffodil cultivars change in colour as they age.  Here are photographs of the daffodil cultivars, which were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial that produce colour changing blooms:

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’

There was a gentle change in the colour of the blooms of Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’.  As the flowers opened they displayed a soft creamy yellow trumpet, which was complimented by the flower’s paler, creamy toned petals.  Very rapidly, within a day or two of opening, the flower’s trumpets had faded to a soft cream to match the petals.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ pictured just as a flower bud is opening on the 16th March 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ pictured just as a flower bud is opening on the 16th March 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ pictured as a newly opened flower with a lemon yellow coloured trumpet, on the 16th March 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ as as flower that is a few days old, pictured on the 16th March 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial.

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ flowers begin their lives as vibrant yellow flower buds. Pictured on the 14th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

These same Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ bright yellow flower buds open to reveal bright white flowers. Pictured on the 19th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

This now white Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ flower was grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial. Pictured on the 14th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Verdin’

These newly opened Narcissus ‘Verdin’ flowers are pictured on the 17th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial. At this early stage, the Narcissus ‘Verdin’ flowers are a soft lemon yellow colour.

Narcissus ‘Verdin’, pictured on the 18th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

In this photograph, you can see an older Narcissus ‘Verdin’ flower, which is a creamy yellow colour, this flower’s outer petals are edged in a pastel yellow, whereas the younger daffodil flower (below) is more of a vibrant lemon yellow colour. This daffodil’s white halo is yet to form. Pictured on the 19th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Similar looking daffodil cultivars

Some of the daffodil cultivars grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial produced similar looking flowers.  By comparing the results from my trial, I can show you which of these similar looking cultivars flowered for longer, or produced more flowers during my trial, to help you to select the most floriferous daffodil cultivars for your garden.

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ and Narcissus ‘More and More’

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ and Narcissus ‘More and More’ are very similar looking daffodils, these daffodils are both jonquil daffodil cultivars, from Division 7 of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Daffodil Classification System.

In this photograph, Narcissus ‘More and More’ is seen on the left hand side and Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ is pictured on the right hand side. This photograph was taken on the 6th May 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Comparison between Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ and Narcissus ‘More and More’, planted in containers.

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ and Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ and Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ are both small cupped daffodil cultivars, from Division 3 of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Daffodil Classification System.

These Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, they are pictured on the 20th April 2018.

This chart compares the flowering of Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ and Narcissus Royal Princess’ during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ is a Small Cupped Daffodil Cultivar, from Division 3 of the RHS Daffodil Classification System. Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ is pictured in flower, on the 20th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Daffodils for impact

Daffodils are beautiful, but some daffodil cultivars give more of a visual impact to the garden than others.  If you’re looking for daffodils to add a real punch to your planting and to create a wow factor in your garden, you might like to consider these daffodils.

Here are the daffodil cultivars that were grown for this Scented Daffodil Container Trial pictured in their containers, to give you a clear view of the impact that each daffodil cultivar produced during this Trial.

Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis

Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis pictured on the 1st April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

You could be forgiven for walking past, oblivious to the fact that this daffodil is in flower, and therefore missing every moment of the flowering of the Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis bulbs that were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.  Some daffodils are more difficult to grow than others, each cultivar varies in its tendency to bloom, and each daffodil’s flowering can be helped or hindered by the weather, as you can see in this trial report.

Narcissus ‘Raffles’

Narcissus ‘Raffles’ pictured on the 20th April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Raffles’ is a rather untidy and unkempt looking daffodil cultivar!  This daffodil’s flowering stems are usually broken by the large, unwieldy flowers that Narcissus ‘Raffles’ produces.

Narcissus ‘More and More’ and Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’

In this photograph, Narcissus ‘More and More’ is seen on the left hand side and Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ is pictured on the right hand side. This photograph was taken on the 10th May 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ and Narcissus ‘More and More’ are very similar daffodil cultivars.  These daffodils have a grassy appearance, they look rather chive like with their fine leaves.  Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ and Narcissus ‘More and More’ stood up to the weather during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’

Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ pictured on the 20th April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ is a very glamorous daffodil cultivar, this daffodil produces large, eye catching flowers.

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ pictured on the 25th April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ is a large flowered daffodil that is strong and sturdy, it’s less likely to be blown over in the wind and weather than many other daffodils.

Narcissus ‘Bell Song’

Narcissus ‘Bell Song’ pictured on the 20th April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Bell Song’ produces very pretty, white flowers, that display delicate, pink coloured trumpets.

Narcissus ‘Verdin’

Narcissus ‘Verdin’, photographed on the 17th April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Verdin’ is a fairly resilient daffodil cultivar, this daffodil does have a tendency to sway and lean a little, but it’s usually pretty self contained.  During this Scented Daffodil Container Trial, Narcissus ‘Verdin’ stood up to the weather.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ pictured in flower during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, on the 25th March 2018.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ is an incredibly resilient daffodil cultivar!  This daffodil withstood wind, rain, and snow, without complaining, flopping, bending, or breaking!  This is an absolutely fantastic daffodil for containers!

Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’

Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’ pictured on the 13th April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’ is a rather wonderful container daffodil cultivar!  This daffodil is very strong it copes well in all weathers.

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ pictured on the 20th April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ produces a glorious abundance of flowers!  This daffodil really creates an impact, but it can be rather sprawling, as the weight of its extensive floral display weighs each of the daffodil’s flowering stems down.

Resilient Daffodils

Daffodil cultivars that produce large, single, showy flowers have the tendency of their flowering stems bending, breaking, or snapping in the wind.  Sometimes these single flowered daffodils’ stems just simply break under the weight of their large flowers, which become very heavy after rainfall.

There are a couple of daffodil cultivars that I adore, despite their rather lax, wayward growth habit, but these are not usually plants that I would choose to plant in a container, where due to the nature of container growing, the plant itself will be isolated and held out for all to see and admire.  I tend to look for more robust, stockier daffodil cultivars to plant in containers.

The daffodil cultivars that were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial were all grown outside, in containers that were placed in a fairly sheltered location, where they were protected from the worst of the wind.  If you plan to grow these daffodils in a more exposed location, you should expect to see a few more bowed flowering stems.

Least resilient daffodil cultivars

Narcissus ‘Raffles’

These Narcissus ‘Raffles’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, these daffodils are pictured on the 20th April 2018.

Narcissus ‘Raffles’ is an untidy, sprawling daffodil.  I would not recommend this daffodil cultivar as a container plant.  Narcissus ‘Raffles’ produces very large, double flowers, the weight of these heavy flowers leaves the plant’s flowering stems bowing, bending, or snapping.

Narcissus ‘Bell Song’

These Narcissus ‘Bell Song’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, these daffodils are pictured on the 29th April 2018.

Narcissus ‘Bell Song’ produces a lovely floral display, but the flowers were soon flopping around and leaning over the edge of the pot, especially the daffodils that were growing at the outer edges of the container.

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’

These Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial. These daffodils are pictured on the 20th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ is an incredibly floriferous daffodil, it’s amazing that the 25 bulbs that were grown for this Scented Daffodil Container Trial produced over 300 flowers!  Naturally with such a vast amount of flowers, these daffodils tended to hang down under the weight of their blooms.

Most resilient daffodil cultivars

Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis

Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis pictured on the 1st April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

The Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis bulbs that were grown for this Scented Daffodil Trial produced a very light covering of flowers.  These fine leaved daffodils had no weight to carry, so they had the strength and resilience required to stand up to the weight of the weather.

Narcissus ‘Verdin’

In this picture, Narcissus ‘Verdin’ is surrounded by some of the other daffodils that featured in this Scented Daffodil Container Trial: Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ and Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ are standing tall at the back, while Narcissus ‘Raffles’ is collapsed at the front, left hand side of this photograph, which was taken on the 22nd April 2018.

The Narcissus ‘Verdin’ flowers that were grown for this Scented Daffodil Trial stood up well to the weather, this daffodil’s flowering stems tended to lean a little, but they didn’t snap or break.

Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’

Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ pictured on the 17th April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ produces very large daffodil flowers, which all held up remarkably well to the weather.  This is a lovely daffodil for a large container!

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ is a Small Cupped Daffodil Cultivar, from Division 3 of the RHS Daffodil Classification System. Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ is pictured in flower, on the 24th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ is a resilient daffodil cultivar that produces large flowers, which are held on strong stems  This daffodil stood up well to the weather.

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’

In this photograph, Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ is pictured on the 13th May 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ is a resilient daffodil cultivar.  This daffodil produces fine, but strong stems, which have a grass like appearance.  Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ daffodils sway and shimmy in the wind, but they don’t tend to break or sprawl about

Narcissus ‘More and More’

Narcissus ‘More and More’ pictured on the 16th May 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘More and More’ is very similar in character to Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’, this is another daffodil cultivar with a relaxed but strong and dependable growth habit, that is capable of standing up to the weather.

Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’

Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’ pictured on the 16th May 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’ is another resilient daffodil cultivar.  This daffodil had a good upright form, especially when viewed as a group in its container

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’

These charming, ivory coloured Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ flowers have a slight hint of peach in their colouring. These mature Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial. Pictured on the 25th March 2018.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ is quite a remarkable daffodil cultivar.  This daffodil flowers earlier than the other daffodils that featured in this trial, meaning that Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ experienced the worst of the spring weather just as it came into flower.  This daffodil experienced every kind of weather: wind, rain, and snow, many times over, but Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ flowered for 40 days, despite this spring weather.

Number of flowering stems produced by each group of 25 daffodil bulbs

This chart shows the number of flowering stems that the 25 bulbs of each trialled daffodil cultivar produced during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ pictured on the 20th April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Total flowers produced by each daffodil cultivar

This chart show the maximum total number of flowers that the 25 bulbs of each trialled daffodil cultivar produced at any one time during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ pictured on the 25th March 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Longest flowering daffodils

This chart shows the number of days that each daffodil cultivar that was grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial flowered for.

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ pictured on the 20th April 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Scented daffodils

All of the daffodil cultivars that were chosen for this trial were selected because they were listed as being scented.  Sadly, some daffodil cultivars were less fragrant than others.

Fragrance can be subjective, as we each detect different scent notes and have differing preferences.  The fragrances of many flowers develop and become more pronounced in warmer weather, as the heat helps to release the perfumed oils the plants produce.  Pollinating insects are more likely to discover flowers which produce a powerful scent, so the effects of a plant’s scent can really benefit a plant.

A scent which is pleasurable to some, can be offensive to others.  It’s also true that the fragrances of many flowers change as the flowers age and develop, so the scent that radiates from a young flower may be entirely different from the fragrance which an older flower of the same variety exudes.

I have listed the daffodil cultivars in ascending order – I am starting with the daffodil cultivars which produced the lightest fragrance, working up towards the daffodil cultivars that produced the most powerful fragrances, with my interpretation of each scent listed for each cultivar below.  I have graded the power of each daffodil cultivar’s fragrance out of 10, with 1 being the lightest possible detectable fragrance, and 10 being the most powerful fragrance.

Daffodils that produced light fragrances

Narcissus ‘Verdin’

These newly opened Narcissus ‘Verdin’ flowers are pictured on the 17th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Verdin’ produced a very light, fresh fragrance, which was reminiscent of the scent produced by a traditional, yellow trumpet daffodil.  Narcissus ‘Verdin’ produced a very light perfume, that I could only detect during a very close encounter.  Scent level: 1.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’, pictured in flower, on the 6th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ produces a very light fragrance, a very close encounter was needed to have any chance to take in this flower’s fragrance.  Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ produces a fresh, sweet scent, with an apple character, I also detected the scent of vanilla, and at times a light hint of spice, play dough, acidic, lime, and pineapple.  Despite the number of scent notes I have listed, this is still a very light fragrance.  Scent level 2.

Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’

These Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, these daffodils are pictured on the 20th April 2018.

Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ produces a light scent which is fresh and earthy rather than sweet.  This daffodil cultivar’s fragrance offers hints of Freesia, traditional daffodil, crushed flower stems and lemon with a hint of mustiness.  Very light:Scent level 2

Narcissus ‘Bell Song’

These Narcissus ‘Bell Song’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, these daffodils are pictured on the 29th April 2018.

Narcissus‘Bell Song’ produced a very light fragrance, I could only detect this daffodil’s perfume during a very close encounter.  Narcissus ‘Bell Song’ produces a light, floral scent, with grassy undertones.  Scent level 2.

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’

These Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial. These daffodils are pictured on the 20th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ produces a light fragrance, I needed to have a close encounter to experience this daffodil’s perfume for myself.  This daffodil’s fragrance was rather earthy in its character, it produced a scent which was like the garden after the rain, with a hint of soap and lemon!  Scent Level: 2

Narcissus ‘Raffles’

These Narcissus ‘Raffles’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, these daffodils are pictured on the 20th April 2018.

Narcissus ‘Raffles’ produced an unusual scent, which I found to be reminiscent of the perfume produced by a traditional yellow, trumpet daffodil, combined with the fragrance of crushed Chrysanthemum leaves.  This perfume has a slightly peppery quality, with an earthy character, and an underlying pineapple and citrus scent.  For me this daffodil’s fragrance was not wholly unbearable, but it was not a fragrance that I would seek out or choose to experience.  The visitors to my Daffodil Trial did not enjoy this daffodil’s perfume at all.  Thankfully, Narcissus ‘Raffles’ flowers do not produce a powerful fragrance, you’d need to be close to this daffodil to take in its perfume.  Scent Level 3.

Daffodils with powerful fragrances

Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis

Narcissus fernandesii var. cordubensis, pictured in flower during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, on the 16th March 2018.

The tiny flowers of Narcissus cordubensis produce a very highly perfumed, strong and powerful fragrance, this is a particularly fruity scent, which offers fragrance notes of lemon, orange zest, orange blossom, and quince, this is a sweet, sophisticated, strong perfume.  I really enjoyed this super fruity fragrance, but with a maximum of three flowers out at once, this daffodil did not provide a show stopping display of either flowers or fragrance.  Scent level 5

Narcissus ‘More and More’

These Narcissus ‘More and More’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, these daffodils are pictured on the 7th May 2018.

Narcissus ‘More and More’ produces dainty little flowers, they are just so charming!  This daffodil’s fragrance is surprisingly powerful for such a diminutive flower; this daffodil’s scent is fruity, with citrus undertones and a prominent quince character.  Scent level 7

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’

In this photograph, Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ is pictured on the 11th May 2018, during my Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

The flowers of Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ produce a highly perfumed fragrance with a prominent, fruity character.  This daffodil’s perfume is warm and delicious, it has fragrance notes of quince, citrus, and hypericum.  Scent level 7

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’

Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ is a Small Cupped Daffodil Cultivar, from Division 3 of the RHS Daffodil Classification System. Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ is pictured in flower, on the 24th April 2018, during my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.

The flowers of the Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ daffodils produced a very pleasing scent which is subtle and gentle but somehow permeates throughout the garden.  Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ flowers produce a soothing fragrance, which features fragrance notes of freesia, citrus, quince, and traditional daffodil.  Scent level 6

Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’

Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’, these plants were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial. Pictured on the 13th April 2018.

The Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’ flowers that were grown for this Trial produced the most powerful fragrance of all of the daffodil cultivars that were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, by quite some margin.  This daffodil cultivar produces very fragrant flowers, which are borne in abundance.  The flowers of Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’ produced a powerful and very pleasing fragrance, which had a fruity, and quite an exotic character, which was reminiscent of a beautiful blend of quince, guava, tropical fruits, orange blossom, hypericum, and citrus.  Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’ flowers produce a complex fragrance, this daffodil’s perfume can be quite spicy at times, it also has a less prominent scent notes which are akin to coconut, suntan lotion, and bitter orange.  The fragrance that the Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’ flowers produced felt warm and sunny, it always made me smile!  Scent level 9

Abnormalities

A few rogue daffodil bulbs made it into my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial.  These rogue daffodil bulbs came with the bags of daffodil cultivars I ordered, but were not the correct daffodil cultivars.

Narcissus ‘Keats’

I ordered 25 bulbs of Narcissus ‘Keats’ for this Scented Daffodil Container Trial.  I was so looking forward to seeing these daffodils in flower, I was excited to feature this daffodil cultivar in this trial, however I was sent 25 bulbs of Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ instead, so it is Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ that I have featured in this trial.

Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’

This rogue daffodil grew from the Narcissus ‘Royal Princess’ bulbs that were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial. Pictured on the 22nd April 2018.

Pests and diseases

The daffodils grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial received no protection whatsoever from any pests and diseases.

Pests

Slugs and Snails

I did not provide any of the daffodils grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial with any protection from slugs or snails, this allowed me to observe whether any particular daffodil cultivar was more or less attractive to slugs and snails.  As a consequence, inevitably slugs and snails caused some damage to my daffodils.

None of the daffodil cultivars featured in my Scented Daffodil Trial seemed to be less attractive to slugs and snails than others – there was a consistent degree of damage seen across each of the daffodil cultivars included in the trial.  No particular daffodil cultivar seemed to be more, or less, popular with slugs and snails, than any other daffodil grown for this trial.

If you’re interested in protecting your own daffodils or indeed any of your garden plants from slugs or snails, you might be interested in the results from my Slug and Snail Trial, if so, please click here.

Beneficial Insects

Bees

I didn’t see as many bees as I would have liked during the period whilst this Scented Daffodil Trial was running.  If you’d like to grow flowers for bees, choose single flowered daffodil cultivars, with open flowers.  Avoid double flowered daffodil cultivars, from Division 4 of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Daffodil Classification System, like Narcissus ‘Raffles’, which has no accessible pollen or nectar to offer bees, hoverflies, butterflies, and other insects.

These Narcissus ‘Raffles’ flowers were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Container Trial, these daffodils are pictured on the 20th April 2018.

Conclusions

  • The most fragrant daffodil that featured in this Scented Daffodil Trial was Narcissus ‘Tiny Bubbles’
  • Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ and Narcissus ‘Lancaster’ both flowered for 40 days, they were the longest flowering daffodils of all of the daffodil cultivars that were grown for this trial.
  • Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’ produced the most flowering stems of all of the daffodil cultivars that were grown for this trial: the 25 bulbs that were grown for this trial produced 98 flowering stems.
  • Of all of the daffodils that were grown for this Scented Daffodil Container Trial, the daffodil cultivar that produced the most flowers at one time was Narcissus ‘Starlight Sensation’, the 25 bulbs of this variety produced 392 flowers!
  • By growing bulbs of just a few daffodil cultivars in containers (Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’, Narcissus ‘Lancaster’, and Narcissus ‘More and More’), you can enjoy a floral display of daffodils from the beginning of March until the middle of May!

Other Trials

You may be interested in some of the trials I have conducted.

Scented Daffodil Trial Reports

To read the results of my 2017 Scented Daffodil Trial, please click here.

Compost Trial Reports

To see all of my Compost Trials, please click here.

To read advice on planting up containers, please click here.

Sweet Pea Trial Reports

To read the results of my 2017 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.

To read the results of my 2016 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.

To read the results of my 2015 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.

Terrarium, Vivarium, and Orchidarium Trials

To see how my Orchidarium was created, please click here.

To read the first part of my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.

To read the first part of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.

To read the first part of my Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.

To read about the general care I give to my orchids and terrarium plants, and the general maintenance I give to my BiOrbAir terrariums, please click here.

To read how I track the temperature, humidity, and light conditions inside my terrariums, please click here.

Daffodil Articles

Daffodil Information

To learn more about daffodils, please click here.

For information about beautiful scented daffodil varieties, please click here.

For information on using daffodils as cut flowers, please click here.

For more information about daffodils and daffodil societies, please click here.

Buying Daffodils

For information on places to buy daffodil bulbs, please click here.

For information on florists selling British grown, seasonal cut flowers including fragrant daffodils, please click here.

Other articles that may interest you………………

To read about daffodils, please click here.

Links and other articles that may interest you………….

I used Dalefoot Composts Wool Potting Compost as the compost for all of the daffodils grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial.  To visit Dalefoot Composts’ website, where you can find out more about their peat free composts, please click here.

I bought the majority of the daffodil bulbs featured in my 2017 Scented Daffodil Trial from Jacques Amand International.  To visit Jacques Amand International’s website and view their vast range of top sized bulbs, please click here.

I am a member of the Daffodil Society, to visit the Daffodil Society’s website, where you find out more about the Daffodil Society, please click here.

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