The Q&A Archives: Bulbs

Question: Once tulips and daffidols have bloomed, should I cut off greens & flower stem, bend them over or leave to die as is. Whatever the correct answer, what is the benefit of doing it? Thank you

Answer: When the flowers are spent on your tulips and daffodils, you can cut the flowering stalk down to foliage level. It's important to leave the foliage alone and allow it to wither naturally. The leaves transport energy in the form of carbohydrates to the bulb, where it is stored for next year's growth and flower development. If you cut the leaves off while they are still green, the bulb won't have the required stored energy to produce flowers and leaves next spring. Knotting the leaves or bending them down can halt the transportation process and rob the bulb of the required carbohydrates. So, as unsightly as the dying leaves might be, it's important to simply leave them alone. When they turn crispy brown you can easily pull them off.

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