The Q&A Archives: Above Ground Tuberous Growth on Tulip and Iris

Question: We have a tulip and a Siberian iris with a large green bulb type growth at the top of these plants. We would like to know if they are new growth bulbs or if we have something wrong with our plants.

Answer: Based on your description I think what you are seeing is normal seedpod development on the tip of a flower stem where a bloom formed earlier. Many gardeners deadhead their plants, or promptly remove the spent blooms, to preclude this happening. Two reasons for doing this are the plants look tidier and they send their energy to rebuilding overall strength for next year's blooms rather than toward seed production. You might remove them now or leave them to see if any seedlings result eventually. To remove them, simply clip the entire stem near the base of the plant.

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