‘Working on next year’s flowers’: What to do with spring bulbs now after flowering

Carol Klein plants Allium bulbs in her garden

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With summer on its way, certain plants in the garden may be starting to look a bit sad. Some of those plants are likely to be spring-flowering bulbs which are among the first to bloom after a long winter. By May, spring flowering bulbs, most notably tulips and daffodils, are coming to the end of their flowers.

Tulips and daffodils are among the most well-known and can flower from February to May.

Some gardeners may be finding that their spring flowering bulbs are now starting to look a bit tatty, so what do you do with them?

Chris Bonnett, founder of GardeningExpress.co.uk spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about what to do with spring bulbs like daffodils and tulips now after they’ve flowered.

The gardening expert said once they’ve finished flowering, it’s time to deadhead them.

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He said: “Once they’ve finished flowering, if you can, deadhead them so remove the seed heads from forming.

“That means the bulb is going to put all the energy back into creating a nice big bulb to flower again next year.

“It’s already working on creating next year’s flowers.

“So you want to literally remove the dead flower heads if possible so there’s no seeds forming so it’s making more energy into a bulb.

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“If you have dry conditions, like in the southeast, water them if possible and give them a little bit of feed.

“Come June, the end of June or July, the foliage will die off naturally or can be cut off.

“Over the next couple of months, it’s going to put all its energy then into producing a nice chunky bulb under the ground to flower next year.”

While it may be tempting to dig up bulbs to split them or de-clump them, Chris said gardeners must wait before doing this.

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He explained: “Sometimes if bulbs have been in there for a very long time, the clumped bulbs can become congested and you would perhaps look at splitting that.

“But at this point, I probably wouldn’t want to do that now and disturb them.

“I would do that once they go into dormancy later on in the summer.

“Or perhaps before they start to grow over the winter period next year.”

Daffodil bulbs can be planted from September to November, when the ground is still warm.

Tulips should be planted from mid-October to November.

Planting tulips too early can result in a fungal disease known as tulip fire.

Cooler weather, which is more commonly experienced in November, kills off the disease.

Gardeners could even plant tulip bulbs in December and January for spring blooms.

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