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Interview with a Daffodil Grower

Narcissus ‘Sabre’ in Frank Nyikos’ garden. (Credit Frank Nyikos)

I had a conversation with Executive Director of American Daffodil Society Frank Nyikos about growing daffodils in Indiana before I moved out of that Midwestern state last year.
I thought this was a good time to share his advice as fall season is coming upon us, again. Soon gardeners will be planning and planting a new collection of bulbs for flowering in spring. Though he gardens in Unionville, found in the southern half of Indiana, Frank’s advice is sound for gardeners wherever daffodils thrive.
Frank recommends a sunny to full sun location for “daffs,” as he calls them. In case you are still deciding on which daffodils to add to your garden, the bulbs can be planted late into the fall season. These spring bulbs do not like soggy feet so definitely avoid digging them into wet areas. For amending soil, he suggests composted mulch is much better than straight fertilizer. Discouraging deer and rodents from stealing his bulbs is a repeated struggle for all of us; Frank mixes his daffs with tulips and alliums.

Narcissus ‘Pheasant’s Eye’ naturalize in a garden setting. (Credit Chris Eirschele)

A question often asked by gardeners is “What to do with fading leaves?” While I admit to braiding my leaves, Franks does not. He prefers to let them loose, and dry back a good six weeks. He believes it is better for the plants.

Daffodil bulbs are found in an assortment of plant catalogs, as well as in local garden centers. Frank’s advice is to find locally grown bulbs. Often local daffodil clubs or plant organizations will sell them at events like state fairs or farmer’s markets.

Narcissus ‘Bierglass’ found in Frank Nyikos’ garden. (Credit Frank Nyikos)

Frank Nyikos is a specialty nursery owner and hybridizer with 53 cultivars of hostas, daylilies, and one beautiful daffodil, Narcissus ‘My Friend Sara’ registered.

 

Frank Nyikos known for hostas, daylilies, and daffodils. (Credit Frank Nyikos)

His 1 ½ acres of planted land is a bevy of beauty.

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