This week’s garden tip was submitted by Wally Schmidtke, sales manager at Pesche’s Flower Shop and Garden Center.
A frequently asked question from our customers is, what do I do with my daffodils, tulips and hyacinths when they're done flowering?
A common mistake is to cut off the green foliage after flowering which causes the bulb not to flower next year or possibly to expire.
When the flowers fade and begin to dry, cut the flower's stem off at the base of the plant. Flower heads left on the plant will go to seed, robbing important energy that should stay in the bulb.
Leave the foliage on the plant until it turns yellow and dry. Then cut off the leaves at soil level. Pulling off the leaves may damage the top of the bulb.
As the leaves dry up, annuals can be planted around the area where the bulbs are. Daffodils, tulips and hyacinths should be planted 6 to 8 inches deep. The annuals’ roots will not interfere with the bulbs.
Do not tie or braid the leaves; this robs the plant of sun exposure, which aids photosynthesis. The annuals will have time to get established by the time you're ready to cut off the foliage.
Remember, spring flowering bulbs benefit from an application of bulb fertilizer when they first emerge to give them energy for flowering and happy returns next year!