Sign up for our newsletter
Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Narcissus cyclamineus 'Jetfire'
Pronounced: nar-SIS-us sik-la-MIN-ee-us
Sunset zones: All.
USDA zones: USDA zones: Daffodils will grow in all USDA zones with the exception of southern Florida or warmer areas.
Height: 6-8 inches (15-20 cm).
Stem bears one flower. Yellow perianth slightly reflexed, with an orange cup and light streaking.
Long, strap-like, green leaves.
Full sun to dappled shade.
Humus rich, moist, well-drained soil.
After flowering, apply a low nitrogen/high potash fertilizer. At planting time, toss bone meal or high potash fertilizer into planting hole.
After the leaves dry up, lift bulbs and separate them to increase supply.
Deadhead spent flowers to prevent seed formation so that the plant's energy goes into the bulb, not seed production. Do not cut foliage off until it dies down. The foliage helps feed the bulb for next year's flowers; it is important that it stay on the plant until it turns brown. Naturalized in grass, the daffodil foliage needs to ripen for at least six weeks after flowering, before mowing.
Pests and diseases:
Slugs may be a problem. In poorly drained soil, bulb rot may occur.
Rainy Side Notes
An early bloomer, N. 'Jetfire' brings bright colors to the late winter to early spring landscape. The reflexed petals give the flower a look of motion, or at least some attitude, like a cat with its ears back.
Plant breeder Grant E. Mitsch bred the little cyclamineus daffodil and it is considered one of the best of the American hybrids. It naturalizes well and is suitable for woodland gardens. The Royal Horticulture Society gave it an Award of Garden Merit in 1995.
As with most daffodils, N. 'Jetfire' is first-rate for forcing and is also wonderful as a cut flower. Daffodils last four to six days in a vase. Preservatives do not prolong the flowers; this step is not necessary. The blossoms secrete a mucous from their stems that is unfavorable to other cut flowers. Daffodils can be used alone in the vase or hardened for 12-24 hours in fresh water by themselves, with at least one water change. Rinse stems before placing with other cut flowers.
In fall, plant bulbs four to six inches deep and three to six inches apart. The flowers face a southerly direction towards the sun, so you want to plant them where they will be seen with their flower faces towards the viewer.
Daffodils are harmful if eaten and the bulbs can be a skin irritant.
Photographed in author's garden.