Just how important are tulip leaves?

northspruce(z3a MB CDA)May 7, 2006

I have always known to leave them on, so I didn't know what to tell my neighbour when I saw that she had cut every last leaf off her tulips as soon as the flowers faded.

I gently pointed out to her that she should have left them on and she was sad because she is a new gardener and tries so hard. I told her I didn't know if maybe they wouldn't flower next year, or might not come back at all, or maybe they would be ok...

Anyone have this experience? What happened the following year?

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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Gil, yes its important, you want to let them die down naturally, so the nutrients from the leaves can replenish the bulb. Otherwise they will have puny blooms or no blooms at all. You also want to deadhead the spent blooms so that they don't spend energy away from the bulb to produce seed. Although let the species be, they will self-seed and naturalize.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 5:58PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Thanks Sharon, I did know it was important, I just didn't know what would happen if someone did cut the leaves off.

I will tell her to buy some bulb boost fertilizer next year and leave the leaves alone, and maybe the tulips will recover by the following year.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 6:45PM
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sazzyrose(2b Sk)

After my tulips are done blooming,I always rip the leaves off. I've been doing this for 16yrs. They were planted by the previous owner. These red tulips aren't my favorite plant and I figured that I'd kill them by doing this, but my patch keeps on growing. I fertilize this bed weekly in the summer, maybe that's enough to keep them going.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 12:59AM
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After the tulips are done blooming you can braid the leaves to help hide them with your annuals, also the leaves are still attached to the bulbs to give them the food they need till they dry up and then give a gentle turn and pull the leaves separate from the bulb very easily and does not harm the bulb Happy Blooming

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 3:44PM
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Since you all know a lot more about tulips then I do, I have a question that sort of goes along with this. What if I was sent tulips and I trimmed all of the leaves off before they went in the vase... I know nothing about flowers but i thought that was what you were supposed to do, now I'm worried that they might die before they bloom. What do you think?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:02PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

This thread is about tulips that are planted in the ground. I don't think it makes any difference if you trim the leaves from tulips that have been cut.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 8:25PM
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