Spring Bulbs After Blooming

Spent tulips

Q. What do I do with my spring-flowering bulbs after blooming?

A. When feasible, it is best to remove the spent blooms with pruners or scissors right after flowering. This prevents the plant from expending energy on seed production and instead redirects energy to be stored and used for next year. You can remove just the spent blooms or the entire stalk for aesthetic reasons. In addition, it is important to leave the foliage up until it dies back naturally. Avoid braiding or tying the foliage into a knot since this may inhibit photosynthesis. Fertilize with a bulb fertilizer after removing spent blooms.

Please contact Plant Information Service at (847) 835-0972 or plantinfo@chicagobotanic.org for more detailed information.