"Daffodils, blossom and tulips jostle to the front of the stage in April. I love these early perennials: they may be more modest but they nearly all have that one special quality that a plant needs to transform your affections from admiration to affection – charm." — Monty Don
Photo credit: Anna Herbst
The first few weeks of spring are a magical time for gardeners, especially those who planted bulbs last fall. Your efforts are finally paying off! Tulips, daffodils, and crocus are popping up everywhere, and alliums and lilies will soon follow. It’s important to enjoy every moment as these blooms won’t stick around for long (tulips last only 2 weeks!). Once the flowers fade, they require a little extra care to ensure a beautiful return next spring.
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Cut the stem that is attached to the dead bloom. This part of the plant is not contributing anything important at this point. The leaves, however, are very important and should not be cut. Despite appearing messy or unsightly once the flower has died, they absorb photosynthesis and energy that your bulb needs to survive the dormant months.
Over time, the leaves will begin to brown, dry up, and die back. Once they’ve reached this final stage, you can cut away the leaves and dispose of them. This is the last step in taking care of your bulbs until they emerge next spring.
Not sure when your bulbs will bloom, or just planning ahead for next year’s garden? This handy chart provides approximate bloom times for different bulbs, so you can enjoy a continuous parade of color all spring and summer.
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