“I think every gardener must have done this at least once. Even experienced gardeners that know better try it. I’m talking about cutting back the dying foliage of blooming bulbs.” This tip is by garden guru Marianne Binetti in her book, Tips for Carefree Landscapes.
She reminds us that despite our best intentions, when we grow weary of those ugly, lingering yellow leaves from daffodils, tulips and other spring-flowering bulbs, we MUST be patient and let them die back naturally so that they can regenerate. Otherwise, we’ll risk not having any blooms in subsequent years. Sure, the following spring we’ll get signs of hope, with green foliage popping up everywhere. But that will be it . . . no blossoms, no delightful spring color, no glorious bouquets.
The best solution for dealing with unsightly spring bulb foliage is to plant them at a distance where you can’t notice the mess, or interplant them with large-foliage perennials like daylilies, echinacea, ornamental grasses, hardy geraniums, Volcano phlox, or small shrubs like Flower Carpet roses, etc. That way, as the perennials and shrubs grow up, they’ll hide the spring bulbs’ foliage but will still allow them to go through their natural die-back process without interruption.
Rainy weather – prevalent throughout the US this spring – lengthens the time it takes for spring-flowering bulbs to die back. So, hang in there, put up with the mess and you’ll be rewarded two times over next spring!
For more great gardening tips and a question and answer forum, check out Marianne Binetti’s blog on PlantersPlace.com