Flower Bulbs - After bloom care
After your spring flower bulbs have bloomed do you leave them in
the ground or is it best to dig them up? There is always some
debate amongst gardener as to what to do with your flower bulbs after
they have bloomed. Here are some tips on after bloom care for
your spring flowering bulbs.
What should be done after the flower bulbs
After the blooms from the flower bulbs have faded, "dead-head" them
by clipping off the spent blooms so that they won't go to seed.
Some gardeners say this isn't necessary for daffodils, but your
garden will look neater by cutting off each bloom when it is finished.
Don't touch those leaves!
The main requirement for bulb flowers after they have bloomed is to
keep their leaves so that the plant can put its energy back into its bulb for next spring's blooming.
give an energy charge to the bulb through photosynthesis and for this
they need to keep their leaves!
This energy or food is stored in the white fleshy part of the bulb for
use next spring.
Since each leaf needs to be exposed to the sun, it is
important not to bunch, tie, braid or cut the bulb's leaves during
this six to eight week period. The bulb's leaves can be
unsightly but it is vital to your bulb's health to leave them until
they are completely brown and dead at which time they can be trimmed
Try planting other annuals or perennials in amongst your bulbs so
that these will grow up and hide the yellowing leaves of your bulbs.
If you feel you want to fertilize your bulbs, this should
only be done about six weeks before they bloom. A fast release
nitrogen fertilizer is the best thing to feed the bulbs with.
Some gardeners like to throw in a handful of bonemeal when they first
plant their bulbs as this can help the roots get off to a good start.
Some gardeners go through the bother of lifting the flower bulbs
out of the ground every year, storing them for summer and then replanting again in the
fall. For all the bother it really doesn't improve the
bulbs performance at all. As well, leaving your
bulbs in the ground will cause most varieties to naturalize, that is, multiply giving you even more bulbs next spring.
Does size matter?
Generally within the same
species of bulb, a bigger bulb will produce a bigger flower.
However you can't compare one species of tulip with another as their
sizes may differ greatly according to its variety. Once
properly planted and cared for, your bulbs can increase in size every
season bringing a better display every spring.
Most bulb merchants will stop shipping bulbs when the planting
season for them has ended. Gardeners can still order however and
are shipped as soon as planting time is optimal. Visit some of
the bulb merchants we have
reviewed to see some really lovely collections of bulbs available now.