The Q&A Archives: Post-season Care of Daffodils and Tulips

Question: I have a large garden of daffodils and tulips. It is very beautiful while blooming- but when it is done, the whole garden becomes very scraggly- looking. I want to cut them back, but I've heard that I shouldn't because this is the time when the plant is storing up for later. Any suggestions?

Answer: If the tulips are hybrids such as Darwins or Triumphs (or others), go right ahead and cut them off. In almost all cases, they rarely make a second show in coming years. Daffodils, on the other hand, naturalize well and deserve to be left alone through the early summer period. If the foliage looks straggly in the border (as it will), one neat and simple trick is to fold them over and wrap them with a rubber band. Get some annuals in early so that they will grow around the maturing daffodil foliage. As soon as they are completely yellow/brown, you may cut them off.

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