The Q&A Archives: Tulips

Question: My tulips are done blooming, but the vegetation is still all green. I would like to plant something else there. Do I need to leave them alone, cut them off, dig them up, or what. I am new to tulips. Please help.

Answer: Although you can cut off the spent flower and stalk, it's important to leave the foliage alone until it dies down on its own. At that time you can easily pull the withered foliage away from the bulb. The tulip leaves are busy transporting energy back to the bulb for next year's floral display so you'll want to leave everything alone until the leaves die down on their own. If you want to dig and move the bulbs you can do it at that time. But, why not just plant over the top of the bulbs? If you want to put in annuals or herbaceous perennials in the bed, they will grow well right over the tops of your bulbs. Herbaceous perennials are those that die down in the winter months. In early spring your tulips will grow and bloom and they will be finished blooming by the time your perennials start to grow. The foliage on the perennial plants will disguise the fading tulip foliage and your garden will look terrific.

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