The Q&A Archives: Tulips

Question: What do I do with tulip plants after they have bloomed?

Answer: When the flower petals fall you can cut down the flower stem, but you'll want to allow the foliage to die down on its own. As long as the leaves are green they are manufacturing carbohydrates which are being transported down to the bulbs for next year's floral display. Prematurely cutting off the foliage will halt this process and the bulbs won't have enough stored energy to flower next spring. At this point, simply leave the foliage alone. When it turns yellow and dies down you can safely pull it away from the bulb.

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