UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Monthly Tip

Bulb Care and Clean-up

Tip description

Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder' from Allen Buchinski
Tulip bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder' from Allen Buchinski
Depending on the sun and warmth of the location where you planted spring-blooming bulbs, they may already be finished or they may just be starting to bloom. If they are still actively growing and blooming, adding a little fertilizer will give them food for next year. If there is inadequate rainfall, continue to water them until about a month after they finish flowering. Cut the stalks from the finished blooms all the way back to the base, but leave the leaves. Wait until the leaves have turned brown before removing them. The green leaves need to photosynthesize to store energy for next year's blooms. They will continue gathering energy for the future. Once the leaves are completely dry and straw-like, they too can be removed. If the plants seemed crowded and the flowers were getting smaller, carefully dig them up, separate the bulbs, and replant them spread out. Toss any bulbs (bulbs/corms/rhizomes/tubers) that are mushy or show other signs of rot. And continue to enjoy easy-maintenance flowers year after year.  

For more information see UCCE Tips on Flowering Bulb Care.

Months applicable
  • March
  • April
  • 1. To-do

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