Will Cutting Flowers Affect Next Year's Growth?
If I use my tulips as cut flowers for a vase, will this affect the next year's flowering?
Sheila from Ontario, Canada
Here is how to get the most out of your tulips each year:
When you go to cut your tulips to display them in a vase, remove only the stems with the flowers. The leaves of the tulip should be left in the ground intact so that they can complete the bloom cycle naturally. At the end of the bloom cycle, the foliage will turn yellow and brown and die back. Until then, the leaves will continue to produce food, which the bulbs will then store over winter for next year's blooms.
Make sure you continue to water any flowers and remaining foliage you don't cut for indoor display, so they don't succumb to heat or drought and end up wilting early. Early wilting will shorten the natural bloom cycle and can have a negative effect on next year's production. Just water them regularly, letting the soil dry out between watering. Once the petals fall and the foliage starts to die back naturally, you can back off on the watering. When the foliage dies back completely you can trim away any unsightly foliage.
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No, it won't affect next years' growth. The bulbs are still in the ground.
Hello! Cutting the flower's stem in order to bring the tulip inside and enjoy it won't hurt next year's growth as long as you allow the leaves to remain at the garden site until they are brown and dried out. While the leaves are turning from green to brown (or tan) allows nutrients from the leaves to return to the underground bulb, and it is this process that affects next year's growth. Since the leaves aren't very attractive, many gardeners cut them at the ground level, but this will cause them to do poorly the following year. Other gardeners know not to cut the leaves off while they're green, and they weave the remaining leaves and lay them flat on the ground; some put mulch on top to hide the browning leaves.
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