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
back rapidly and cause little problem. The foliage on the larger bulbs like Tulips
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
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
your imagination when it comes to planting your bulbs and you can get
creative enough to hide the dying foliage.