Daffodils are one of the best signs of spring, as their yellow blooms are a welcome sight to any garden. They are also extremely hardy and need relatively little encouragement to grow. However, growing them with other plants can introduce many variables you should consider.
You can plant daffodils with raspberries, provided you manage both plants well. Although there are no outright downsides, raspberries and daffodils are significantly different. While daffodils require very little care, raspberries can grow quite large and usually need attention to grow properly.
Companion planting combines science, passed-down knowledge, and trial and error. Needless to say, it can be pretty frustrating. Thankfully, this guide is here to ease the process for you, so keep reading to learn more!
Why Should You Plant Daffodils With Raspberries?
You should plant Daffodils with raspberries because raspberry bushes provide excellent cover for daffodils. Also, since daffodils do not flower year-round, planting them with daffodils is a great way to obstruct and protect the bare daffodil stems when their leaves start to die after flowering.
This reason is, for many, good enough to start companion planting both plants. However, there are a few more benefits.
Although beautiful, daffodils do not flower for the whole year. They only maintain those beautiful blooms only for a few weeks each year. Once their blooming season is over, the flowers die, and the leaves follow soon after.
You can cut back daffodil leaves yourself, but if you want a good spread the following year, then the best option is to leave them to die naturally. As the leaves die, their stored energy is transferred to the underground bulb and used in the next flowering season.
Even though it’s necessary, some people don’t like how it makes their gardens look. To get around this, strategically planting your daffodils among your raspberries can cover up most of the empty daffodil plants after it blooms, leaving your garden looking much better.
Planting Together Saves Space
Although this isn’t just unique to daffodils and raspberries, companion planting saves space. With housing costs rising and many people without large yards, space is at a premium.
Circumventing this by growing multiple plants close together is a great way to introduce variety in a confined space.
That said, planting all of these in a confined space isn’t always positive. Since there’s a lot higher plant density than there should be, you might need to supplement the soil with some fertilizer to increase soil nutrients.
Raspberries Aid Pollination
One significant benefit of growing daffodils and raspberries together is that pollinators like bees and butterflies are highly attracted to raspberries. Because of this increased insect presence, pollination can happen much quicker than usual.
Daffodils already have one of the hardiest life cycles of any garden plant, and they grow and multiply without much need for human interference. However, raising them with raspberries can increase their reproduction, increasing your spread.
On the flip side, it can be a disadvantage. You might already have enough daffodils in your garden, and increasing them can strain your soil, potentially affecting other plants in the same space. However, good soil and plant management can circumvent this provided you do it well.
Raspberries Offer Daffodils Protection
Your raspberry bush will grow much more extensive than any daffodils you plant with it. Because of its size, it will offer some level of protection against wind and excessive sunlight.
One benefit of this is that it makes it easier to shield daffodils while their leaves die in preparation for the next bloom.
On the other hand, daffodils also return the favor to raspberries. Daffodils are known to secrete a toxin called lycorine which is toxic to many pests. This toxin makes them a great way to deter insects and animals like squirrels and deer from eating them. By proximity, this protection would extend to your raspberries if you plant them together.
However, remember to prune both your daffodils and raspberries from time to time. Prune spent raspberry canes once you’ve harvested the fruit and cut back excessive foliage. You can also trim daffodil leaves to keep your garden looking slightly neater.
Remember only to trim daffodil leaves once their leaves have yellowed and withered completely. Jumping the gun here can ruin any chance of good blooms in the next flowering cycle.
Finally, always remember to cut off raspberry suckers and separate daffodil bulbs from time to time. Suckers and bulbs can significantly increase the population of their respective parent plants if left attached, so cut them off if you don’t want this.
The Best Plants To Grow With Daffodils
Daffodils grow just fine with raspberries, getting a lot of benefits but also running into a few problems. However, other plants grow even better with daffodils, so look into any of them if you want a better companion plant for your daffodils.
These are the best plants to grow with daffodils:
Since daffodils are relatively hardy and require little extra care outside of their requirements, you generally don’t need to companion plant them for protection. Therefore, you can simply plant them to account for their blooming cycle. There are a few ways to go about this.
First, you can plant for alternative blooming. This process means you plant flowers that bloom in alternating seasons. Doing this ensures that your garden looks colorful for at least two seasons.
Alternatively, you can plant supportive blooms. Supportive flowers bloom in the same season, adding to your already prepared blooms in your garden. You can grow flowers of the same color or add alternating splashes of color with other options like hyacinths or roses.
Here are a few ideas you can try:
Early Blooming Flowers
With early bloomers like daffodils, one good way to accentuate their effect in your garden is to match them with other early blooming plants like hyacinths, tulips, or some Virginia bluebells.
I love daffodils, and they do just fine on their own but pairing them with some beautiful blue hyacinths take your garden to another level! If arranged properly, the intertwined blooms can improve your garden even with limited space.
If you want to get creative, you can even implement some very-early blooming plants like snowdrops to open up your garden before your spring blooms. Snowdrops are an excellent choice since they can flower as early as mid-January.
Mid-Late Blooming Flowers
Daffodils’ characteristic yellow color brings sunshine to your garden early in spring when their first blooms show. Because of this, many people view them as the first sign of spring, and with good reason.
The problem is that while daffodils usually herald the coming of spring, they don’t always live long enough to see it go. Daffodils flower early, but their blooms usually die mid-way into spring, leaving dying leaves behind as the bulbs absorb energy for their next cycle.
Planting mid or late-blooming flowers with your daffodils is a great way to cover up your dying daffodils and keep your garden colorful throughout spring.
There are plenty of options to try here, depending on preference. Here are a few to get you going:
The Best Plants To Grow With Raspberries
Alternatively, you might be primarily focused on raspberries and looking for the best companion for them. The key with raspberries is to focus on companion planting other plants that will provide functional benefits to them.
Here are the best plants to grow with raspberries:
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but it highlights three of the key benefits that companion planting can bring. Garlic has a strong odor that can benefit your garden as most pests dislike strong smells.
Legumes provide the second kind of benefit, which happens in the soil. They are strong nitrogen-fixing plants improving soil quality by providing nitrogen from ammonia.
Finally, lavenders are an excellent middle ground between appearance and functionality. Their purple blooms add a certain brightness to any garden and attract pollinators that will benefit the raspberries.
What Shouldn’t You Plant With Daffodils?
You can plant daffodils with anything you like but be careful when planting with vegetables. While both plants can go well together, you will need to be careful to ensure you aren’t bothering your daffodils during harvest season.
Daffodils are perennials; you only need to plant them once, and they will bloom without adding bulbs. Because of this, planting them with annuals that you have to harvest and replant every year could disturb the planting soil for daffodils.
In the strictest sense, you could plant daffodils with anything you’d like. However, you just need to be extra careful when planting them with vegetables.
That said, provided you take care to space both plants well and are religious with your pest control, you should be fine!
If you’d like to learn more about whether it’s possible to plant vegetables over daffodil bulbs, you could check this article out: Can You Plant Vegetables Over Daffodil Bulbs?
You can plant daffodils with raspberries if you properly account for spacing, soil management, and plant care problems. Although they both should grow fine together regardless, you’ll get far better results if you pay close attention to them from time to time.
Companion planting both of these plants is far more than just a functional choice to save space. It also comes with many benefits that benefit both plants, so don’t be scared to try it out!