Asked on May 1, 2017

When can I cut back stems of daffodils and tulips?

Judy DavisLaura Pidduck-ZappettiBeth Shorts


Other summer flowers are coming up beside my daffodils and tulips and overtaking my spent daffodils and tulips. I want to cut them back. Can I safely cut them down to about 6 inches at least?
6 answers
  • Janet Pizaro
    on May 1, 2017

    Bulbs feed off the foliage.I would leave them alone.
  • Candace
    on May 1, 2017

    After your bulb plants stop blooming cut off the spent bloom and leave the green stems till they die off naturally. Cutting the green stems back is bad for the bulb that needs nourishment in order to bloom next season. The bulb gets it's nourishment from these green stems. It needs the sunshine and water .. they will die off naturally and when they do just pick them off carefully. Then they will bloom again next year.
  • Elga Ray
    on May 1, 2017

    Yes, as long as you don't cut back the leaves completely. They need to die back naturally. In the Fall, when the leaves are dried up, it's save to cut back completely, dig them up to transplant them or just to leave them there until next Spring for them to bloom again.
  • Beth Shorts
    on May 1, 2017

    You definitely shouldn't cut the stems or foliage off your daffodils and tulips. The bulbs need the nutrients that the stems and foliage give them, to be able to flourish in the next season. Just plant some other plants around the area that will hide the plants, yet still allow the leaves/stems to get the light and water they need.
  • Laura Pidduck-Zappetti
    on May 1, 2017

    be sure your bulbs are still there, squirrels love bulbs and will dig them up and steal them! these types of flowers don't usually require cutting in that way but you can do it just to remove the dead parts
  • Judy Davis
    on May 1, 2017

    Thank you for your replies. I guess I will leave the foliage. It will get ugly. After they die down I believe I will dig them up and plant them elsewhere.
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