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Tulips and daffs dieing back

JamesOJamesO Posts: 230



I have daffs and tulips in the boarder and because of May dull wet weather they seem to be taking a little longer to die back sending the good stuff back into the bulb for next time.  In Manchester you will be surprised to know May was poor for sun light than normal is this process more sunlight dependent and do the leaves left need to be that brown gold crush like state.  I know the top tip is to pull a little and if it comes away then its done put if there is resistance to the pulling to leave it.


  • LynLyn Posts: 21,921

    James..I know exactly what you mean, ours are always three weeks behind most peoples because of our climate, so now you want to get bedding plants in or tubs sorted and planted.

    What I do, and always have, is to pick the whole lot out of the tubs and put in old compost sacks or bin liners and the ones in the garden I gently fold over and tie round. They still multiply and come up just well next year and I think it aids the rotting down process.

    I will get jumped on for advising that, but it works for me and frees up the soil space. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,116

    I still have some daffs in flower but I plant mine where they're behind shrubs or perennials which then take over and hide the foliage as it dies back. The ones in pots are just  moved out of sight to a corner somewhere. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007

    yep i'm afraid i got fed up waiting for them all to die back so i dug them all out and put them in buckets/compost sacks and moved them out of the way. next year i'm going to plant them in pots and just place them in the garden as suggested by another on here. 


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,237

    I can't stand dying bulb foliage. My mum's garden is swamped with Spanish bluebell which looks awful dying back and makes it hard to weed.

    Fairygirl has the right idea, plant behind/within clumps of perennials that will grow up and hide the foliage. And I would add, go for miniature narcissi varieties and things like Iris reticulata with finer leaves rather than those big brutes. And NEVER plant Spanish bluebells! In fact I'm tempted to glyphosate mum's, since there are natural bluebell woods within half a mile of her house. She may have other ideas though...

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,921

    Moving them tubs and all is not an option for me, buying  other load of tubs for summer bedding is out of the question.

    Agrre with Spanish blue bell cull, I do let them flower, for a while then chop the whole lot down, the little wot sits will still multiply and come up again next year!

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • JamesOJamesO Posts: 230

    Thanks guys will dig them out got a few buckets in the garage, its an area were I switch the bulbs for summer flowers.  I do mainly have them in tubs and used Montys idea from Gardeners world this year about taking them out of the show tub and place them in a black tub to free up the show tub for the garden for summer flowers.

  • When you dig out the bulbs and put them out of the way in a bucket, do they have to be covered with soil until the leaves go yellow?  AND, are you supposed to feed bulbs in pots or borders that have finished flowering but still have green leaves?   image

  • JamesOJamesO Posts: 230

    Yeah I still feed once a week until leaves are dried out with Tomorite

  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,045

    I planted quite a lot of new bulbs last year, including Tulis which I have never grown before.  At the same time I over planted with perennial geraniums.  This seems to have worked really well and most of the dying foliage has been covered.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
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