I've been told numerous times that you shouldn't plant daffodils next to...

Asked October 21, 2014, 2:49 PM EDT

I've been told numerous times that you shouldn't plant daffodils next to other bulbs as they emit something that will kill the other bulbs (or plants). Can you tell me if this is true, and what the details are - the name of the chemical, what other plants they kill, etc? I'd appreciate it before I plant bulbs this fall. Also, a garden center is suggesting planting daffodils in pots with tulips and crocuses, and I'm not sure it this is advised.

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

We have have no scientific data that proves that daffodils exert an inhibiting effect on any other plants.

Many naturalized,and formal gardens feature daffodils, tulips, narcissus, and other
spring bulbs - all growing is beautiful harmony.

Daffodils, on the other hand, are among the few plants that can be grown within the root zone of a Black Walnut tree - a very challenging environment for many plants because of the chemical that the tree produces, called Juglone:

As far as planting bulbs in pots - you can certainly do this. It's called "forcing bulbs".
Usually the reason for doing so is that you can bring the pots into the house in the winter, and begin to awaken the bulbs with the warm, lighted environment. The bulbs will begin to grow and produce flowers much earlier (maybe around Easter time?} than they would if simply grown in the ground. Here is a link that describes how to do this:

So...don't worry about planting your daffodils with other bulbs or plants. They make good neighbors. And if you decide to force some bulbs this year you may be pleasantly surprised by the early spring flowers that show up in the dead of winter!

Thanks for contacting AaE. Please do so again if you have further questions.