Spring flowering bulbs are one of the true joys of this time of year. In order to keep them as healthy as possible here is a simple three-step procedure for proper care.
- Remove the spent flowers so that the plant’s resources will go into bulb growth and energy for bloom next year rather than into producing seed.
- Allow the foliage to mature and die naturally. The green foliage will continue the process of photosynthesis and manufacture food that will be stored in the bulb for bloom next year. Also, avoid the occasionally seen practice of tying the foliage in a knot to make it look “neater”. This reduces the amount of leaf surface that can absorb sunlight.
- Fertilize at the appropriate time. Bulb roots shut down shortly after flowering and fertilizer applied once they are in bloom is essentially wasted. The best times to fertilize are in the fall at the time of bulb planting and again in the early spring when the new growth is just beginning to emerge from the ground.