Plant of the Month – September

0

Autumn Daffodil
Sternbergia lutea

  • Plant Form: Perennial bulb
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 0.25 – 0.5 ft. tall and wide
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Bloom Time: Fall (Sept – Oct)
  • Native to: Southern Europe, Asia
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 28°F

This cheery surprise arrives to brighten your garden in the fall, seeming to appear out of nowhere. Autumn Daffodil bulbs sleep underground all summer, then burst up with bunches of yellow, waxy flowers in September and October, closely followed by clusters of strap-shaped leaves all winter. This plant’s charm and easy maintenance has garnered it awards — once you plant your own, you’ll know why.

Autumn Daffodil pops up through bare ground when you least expect it, just as autumn arrives. Its crocus-like, goblet-shaped, waxy yellow flowers each appear singly on 5 to 6-inch-tall stems. Soon after, deep green, strap-shaped leaves emerge that persist through winter, feeding the bulbs so they survive through their summer dormancy. Eventually these leaves disappear in spring until the next fall bloom. This heirloom bulb is so ridiculously easy to grow, and looks so charming, it has earned the prestigious “Award of Garden Merit” from the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding qualities. Happily, rabbits and deer rarely bother this plant. Plant bulbs 5-6 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart in late summer. Accepts most soil types, but they must be well-drained. Prefers full sun, and hot and dry summer months, so don’t give it too much summer water. Brightens up border fronts, rock gardens, cottage gardens, Mediterranean gardens, foundations, containers (with evergreen companion plants), pathways, and sidewalks.

Check out our “Garden Tasks” for September