How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over

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If you enjoy growing daffodils indoors, you may be wondering how to stop the flowers from falling over. Check out these four easy tips from the experts.

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Narcissus are lovely flowers that people like to grow both indoors and out. Commonly known as daffodils or paperwhites in some countries, these cheery flowers usually announce the arrival of spring. They are grown from bulbs and will multiply if left in the ground over winter.

If you love growing narcissus indoors on a bright windowsill, you might have come across the problem of the flower stems falling over. The main reason for this is that the roots have not become established enough to support the top growth of the plants.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over

When grown outdoors in the ground, daffodils develop large root systems that have enough strength to support the top growth of the plants. However, when you grow them indoors in a shallow container, the roots just don’t have enough space to develop the strength that they need to support the plant.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over

But, don’t worry. There are some things that you can do to keep your narcissus upright. Here are four ideas that you might want to try (the last one will definitely surprise you), plus some basic guidelines to consider when growing narcissus indoors.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over
Basic Guidelines for Growing Daffodils Indoors

The first thing you want to do is to make sure that your plant gets plenty of light. A lack of light means that your plant will become too leggy. Narcissus need lots of bright light, and they will grow taller in search of it if it’s not readily available.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over

So, make sure that you sit your plant on a bright windowsill where it will get all the light that it needs — indirect light, not direct sunlight.

In addition, you should rotate your daffodils every couple of days to ensure that the light hits all sides of the plant evenly. This means that the flowers will not all grow in one direction and, as a result, fall over. Bulbs like daffodils are notorious for growing toward the light, so rotating them regularly will keep their growth even.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over

Also, be on the lookout for varieties that have been specially bred to have strong stems. These are ideal for growing indoors on a bright windowsill.

Now, let’s look at some ways to stop your gorgeous narcissus from falling over.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over
1. Tie Them Up With a Ribbon

One way to support your daffodil stems is to use a ribbon to loosely tie them together. Use a lovely, soft, decorative ribbon or even a length of raffia to tie around the stems about two-thirds of the way up.

This is an easy way to stop your narcissus from flopping all over the place and also adds a nice decorative touch. Just make sure that you don’t tie the ribbon too tightly that you damage the stems.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over
2. Use Decorative Stakes

Another way to support your daffodil flowers is to use decorative stakes. You can use almost anything as a stake for your potted flowers. Have a look the next time you visit your local garden center and you’ll be surprised at the variety that you can find.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over

In addition, you can even use interesting sticks that you find around your garden or when out on a walk. Even branching sticks can add a bit of a decorative touch to your narcissus plant.

Check out your local florist as well for some interesting floral stakes that might be available or learn how to use florist wire to strengthen the stems on your daffodils.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over
3. Plant Your Daffodils In a Tall Vase

For this method, you want to choose a tall glass vase that has straight sides. The idea is to let the vase do the supporting of the flower stems.

You can add a more decorative touch by tying a colored ribbon around the vase with a lovely big bow. The tall straight sides of the vase will provide support for the flower stems, and you’ll be able to enjoy your lovely narcissus flowers without them falling over.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over
4. Stunt the Growth of Your Daffodils with Alcohol

This method was developed by horticulturalists at Cornell University’s Flowerbulb Research Program. It uses alcohol to stunt the growth of flower stems without reducing the size of the flowers. 

The idea behind this method is to add a small amount of clear alcohol such as vodka or gin to the water once the plants are around one to two inches tall. This effectively stunts the growth of the flower stems without damaging the flowers themselves.

The amount of alcohol that you add to the water needs to be less than 10%, but anything from 3 to 6% is adequate.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over

When you use this method, you’ll discover that the flower stems will be around one-third shorter than normal and will not fall over. However, you’ll still get large, fragrant flowers that will bloom for a long time.

How to Keep Narcissus or Daffodils From Falling Over

So, to stop your narcissus from falling over, you can either provide some support in the form of decorative stakes, pretty ribbons, or a large glass vase. Alternatively, you can just stunt their growth by watering them with a solution of alcohol and water. This will ensure that you can enjoy those beautiful, fragrant flowers indoors — without any flopping.