Are Daffodils Edible? Are They Safe To Eat?

By Paul Smart •  Updated: 04/25/22 •  5 min read

Are Daffodils Edible? Are They Safe To Eat? Daffodils are one of the most popular spring bulbs that are grown in the garden. They produce a beautiful display in spring and are an asset for any ornamental garden. However, can they be eaten safely or are they poisonous?

Daffodils are not safe to eat according to the University of California poisonous plant list which states that this plant, if ingested, will cause nausea and diarrhoea. It is recommended that if any amounts of daffodil is ingested that you call the poison centre immediately for advice. Additionally, the university also indicates that skin contact with daffodils can also cause skin irritation and dermatitis.

It is therefore advisable to handle daffodils only when you have gloves on to avoid any chances of there being skin contact. Additionally, it is advisable that you supervise young children when they are around these plants to ensure they do not have any mishaps.

Are Daffodils Toxic To Cats And Dogs?

Daffodils are also toxic for cats and dogs and they will have a similar effect on the animal to what humans experience which is effects such as nausea vomiting and diarrhoea. As such similar precautions need to be taken if you have pets around the house.

Additionally, many of the common bulbs grown in spring are also toxic such as jonquils, irises, and tulips. So as a general rule it is important to ensure that the bulbs are kept away from animals and children alike.

How To Deter Pets And Children From Going Near Daffodils?

There are several solutions that you can make up at home from household chemicals which will help to deter animals and children alike. If you are only concerned about household pets one of the most common methods is to spray vinegar or ammonia around the area where the plants are being grown. In the case of ammonia you will need to dilute it 1 to 1 with water to ensure that is not too strong for the plant.

This type of solution will work well for deterring animals by smell however if you have toddlers I would only use only vinegar.

Another alternative that is commonly used is to make up a garlic and pepper spray and apply it to the foliage this will help to deter animals by smell and taste and will ensure that any foliage that is eaten is minimized. I personally favour this formula because it repels the animals and even toddlers by both smell and taste. 

To make up the solution start by slicing 4 to 5 chillies and 4 to 5 cloves of garlic. The easiest way to do this is to put them through a food processor to make sure that the ingredients are cut up finally. Add these ingredients to approximately 300ml of boiling water along with a squeeze of lemon juice and a tiny bit of detergent and leave them overnight.

The reason that boiling water is recommended is that it will help to extract some of the chemicals from the hot peppers and garlic producing a pungent mixture. The detergent is added because many of the active ingredients in the hot peppers are not water-soluble so you need the presence of a little bit of detergent to ensure that you can extract all ingredients. The lemon juice is added because it is slightly acidic which will stop the development of bacteria within the solution over time. If you do not have lemon juice an alternative is to use a little bit of vinegar which will work just as well.

Once the solution is cooled down it should be strained to remove any garlic and pepper pieces leaving you with a pungent little solution that should keep all your little critters off the daffodils.

Other Methods Of Keeping Pets And Children Away From Daffodils

Aside from making chemical concoctions such as the ones mentioned above the other alternative is to provide physical barriers to prevent, particularly toddlers, from getting into the flowers. However, many of the physical barriers will detract from the appearance of the flowers which is why you grow them in the first place.  But there are a few tricks that you can employ to ensure that you maintain a beautiful garden that is safe.

One of the easiest tricks when growing daffodils in pots is simply to have a feature pot with the bulbs in it and then surround it with other parts that contain plants that are non-toxic. This will allow you to grow your daffodils without spoiling the appearance of them with physical barriers.

In terms of the types of plants that work really well to protect the Daffodils, I would recommend either using things like carpet roses which are extremely prickly and provide an excellent physical barrier or alternatively prickly succulents.

If you are growing the Daffodils in your garden another great alternative that does not spoil your appearance is to run fishing wire in front of the plants which is not easily visible and will keep little visitors out of the garden.

I hope you found this article useful and have great success growing your daffodils. If you have any additional comments or questions please leave them in the section below.

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Paul Smart