What to do with flowers after they’ve bloomed?

After the spring flowering bulbs have bloomed, the flowers make seed boxes, the plants get weak, and their leaves and start to droop. The flowers are no longer blossoming and the seed boxes are best cut away, but the leaves should be left alone. It’s actually very good if they die. Next year you can enjoy the flowering of the bulb again. All the energy from the leaves retreats to the bulbs, where it will be stored as spare food for next season. Only when the foliage has turned completely yellow, you can remove it. It’s best for the bulb not to make any seed boxes, this costs a lot of energy.

The great thing is that with almost all flower bulbs you don’t have to do anything after planting. They don’t need to be removed from the ground. Most bulbs can be left in the ground for 5-7 years and they will come back up when their time comes. They can use the energy that was stored in the bulb.

Ordinary (tall) tulips should be dug up after the leaf has wilted. The bulbs are best stored in an airy and dry space until autumn, when they can be planted again. Plant them somewhere you didn’t have any tulips the year before.

To ensure the long life of the bulbs, plant them widely apart so they have enough room to grow. If they are planted too close together, they can push each other and they cannot absorb enough nutrition and water.

The general rule of thumb is 20 bulbs per m2. For small bulbs it’s between 50 to 200 bulbs per m2. For big bulbs it’s 15 to 25 bulbs per m2. If you plant them between perennials, plant about 5 bulbs per m2. For dahlias, go with 3 to 5 per m2.

On the other hand, summer flowering bulbs should be removed to prevent damage from frost. Read more about this in ‘’When to dig up dahlia bulbs’’.