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PLANTING & CARE OF BULBS: FOLIAGE CARE

Care of bulbs: foliage care
How to Care for Spring Flowers After Blooming
Once the foliage dies back or matures in the late spring or early summer, the bulb is dormant. You can tell the plant is dormant when the foliage is brown and papery and can easily be pulled free. Summer is the dormant period for Spring Bulbs. As the foliage dies back, the roots that nourish the bulbs also die back. With fall rains, the bulb comes out of summer dormancy and roots begin to grow again to provide the bulb nutrients and moisture. Once the Spring Bulbs enter dormancy, the time is right to dig the bulbs if needed. Some bulbs benefit from digging to divide the bulbs and spread them out over the bed.

The foliage on the Spring Bulbs such as snowdrops will die back rapidly and cause little problem. The foliage on the larger bulbs like Tulips and Daffodils will take several weeks to die back. Keep in mind that after flowering, the plant needs the green leaves to manufacture food (photosynthesis) that is stored in the bulb for next year's growth. If you mow or remove the foliage too early, the plant can no longer manufacture nutrient reserves for next year. This results in a small, weak bulb which will gradually decline and die out.

There are several ways to divert attention from the yellowing bulb foliage. Interplant the bulbs in the spring using one or two colours of annuals. Place bulbs behind the plants on the front edge of a border planting. Plant taller flowering bulbs behind lower growing foreground shrubs. Plant bulbs with groundcovers and perennials like hosta or daylilies. Use your imagination when it comes to planting your bulbs and you can get creative enough to hide the dying foliage.




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