Although names like “Paper white”, “Jonquil” and “Daffodils” distinguish one type from another, all are a type of Narcissus and many Narcissus bulbs can be “forced” to grow inside as well as in the garden.
Daffodils do well in containers that give their roots plenty of room to roam. Plant them in pots that are six to eight inches in diameter and at least a foot high. Spacing bulbs is easy. As long as they aren’t touching, they aren’t too close together. Container daffodils are planted a bit differently than those you grow in the garden. Outside, a good rule of thumb is to plant bulbs at a depth of two to three times their height. Potted daffodils should be planted with their noses slightly exposed.
Fill your pots half full with potting soil. Since the daffodil bulb contains all the nutrients that the flower needs to grow, all you need worry about is that your mixture is moisture retentive with good drainage and loose enough to allow roots to grow freely. Add soil to within a half-inch to an inch from the top of your container and moisten the soil. After all this work, your daffodil bulbs are ready for a rest!
How you store your daffodils during their rest period depends on where you live. In southern areas where the ground doesn’t freeze solid, you can bury the pots outdoors or store them in a trench or box. In northern areas where temperatures dip severely, rest daffodil bulbs indoors and insulate them with a covering of leaves or sawdust to help moderate the soil temperature.
Cool them in the fridge
For gardeners who like to do things the easy way, planted bulbs can “winter” in a refrigerator that is kept at 35 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit. However, when storing bulbs in a refrigerator, take care not to store them with apples or other fruits that produce ethylene gas.
Mark your calendar with the date you put your bulbs into storage and the date you expect to retrieve them. Keep potting medium moist during the storage period. In five to six weeks, you should see roots coming out the bottom of your pot. However, your daffodils still need more time in cold storage. In fact, longer storage results in taller flowers. At the end of the storage period, your daffodils will have developed an excellent root system and you should see the beginning of new growth sprouting from the top of your pot.
After storage, introduce your plants to your home by setting them in a
well-lighted area with an average temperature of 60° to 63°F. In three to
four weeks, whatever the season, you’ll experience spring in the luxury of
homegrown indoor daffodils!