The Q&A Archives: Post-season Tulip Care

Question: I have planted tulips for the first time last fall, and they came up this spring (I live in central PA). Do I leave the stems and leaves there after they bloom, or do I cut them down?

Answer: It depends on the kind of tulips you planted. Most hybrid tulips (familiar Triumph, Darwins, etc.) rarely give a good show the second year and are best yanked after bloom. Botanical tulips (species types) almost always naturalize and are best allowed to mature (leave will turn yellow) naturally. At the end of their season (late spring or early summer), you can cut off the foliage carefully and allow the bulbs to get ready for next spring's show.

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