Give spring bulbs a little TLC now and they’ll bounce back even better next year for an even bigger and more colourful display.
As blooms fade, pinch or cut them out to stop the bulbs wasting energy producing unwanted seedheads. This make sure that all the plant’s energy goes back into the bulb and encourages bigger clumps to form.
The only exception is bulbs you are naturalising in long grass, like snowdrops, crocus or snakes-head fritillaries: here you want seedheads to form so they can release ripe seeds and spread into colonies.
Then leave the foliage to die down naturally, as this is the plant’s process for drawing goodness downwards into the bulb ready for next year’s display. Let them die back for six to eight weeks before mowing or clearing them up. If you can feed them during this time with a slow-release fertiliser like pelleted chicken manure or liquid seaweed you’ll boost your display even more.
Give your Spring Bulbs some TLC
To hide the dying foliage, try planting taller early summer perennials around your bulbs: as they grow and put on more leaf they’ll quickly obscure the bulb foliage behind. Good examples include penstemons, caryopteris and dicentra: you’ll find an excellent selection on sale at our garden centre in Poynings right now.