Tulips - is it okay to prune stems when blooms die?

lauriedutch(5 / CO)May 14, 2009

Now that my tulips have finished blooming, the plants look silly with flowerless stems. Is it okay to prune the stems and if so, the whole stem or just part? The leaves will remain green for months, and I don't plan to prune the leaves. Thanks.


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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I have never really read that it made any difference when cutting the actual bloom stem off. I think whatever you choose should be fine.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 4:24PM
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lauriedutch(5 / CO)

Thanks, Sue!

Reading through some other related threads, I see that others agree that it's safe to prune the stalks; in fact, it seems to be beneficial for tulips to do so.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 5:40PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

You're welcome.

I know your post was asking about tulips, but the same applies to daffs and other spring bulbs as well.

This year I did not snap the bloom heads off my daffs because I was hoping some would have been pollinated and would make seed pods. I was just walking around and saw several daff seed pods (hope they have some seeds in them), and found one dried and splitting open that did indeed have seeds. Now...I wonder what the babies will look like in years to come. Something new and not so pretty, or something new and maybe worthy of being registered at a later date once it has multiplied.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 6:16PM
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My fence is lined with Daffs that didn't bloom this year. too thick, maybe? Is it safe to transplant them now, or should I wait until fall?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 10:38AM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

I snap off the seed pods of my tulips and daffodils to prevent them from putting energy into seed production. I try not to remove any leaves until they are 80-90% browned, though.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:50PM
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lauriedutch(5 / CO)

That's helpful. There are some tulip plants with leaves that I can remove now.

Is there much difference between new tulip plants propagated by seeds and those that spread underground via the bulbs?


    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 8:59AM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

With the exception of species tulips, my plants don't propagate. The climate isn't right here. If the bulbs try to multiply, they quit blooming. Which is why I plant them deep and snap off the seed pods.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 10:23AM
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