Should I take the old flowers off bulbs when they are done flowering? Does this strengthen or weaken the bulb?
How can I strengthen these flowering bulbs? I spent a lot last fall on over 100 tulips and over 100 narcissus…every one flowered? How do I protect the Beauty and the investment?
You can snip off the flowers as soon as they are past their prime but they need their leaves. As long as the leaves are green, they are providing food for the plant and replenishing the bulb for next year. This can take up to 2 months. Do not braid the leaves as this adversely affects the plant’s photosynthesis. You could also add some compost to provide nutrients for the bulbs. If your soil is good, they shouldn’t need much more. Take a look at our growing tulips guide for more information about tulips. Note that unlike daffodils, many of the newer tulip varieties are short lived. However I can attest to the fact that some of the older tulips can be counted on to bloom for many years.