What to do with tulips after they have bloomed – gardener says ‘you might be rewarded’

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Sophie Valentine is the British gardener and mum behind gardening Instagram account Look Inside My Garden. Sophie is a true green-fingered whizz and grows stunning blooms.

She discussed her drooping tulips with Express.co.uk and detailed how readers can see their plants return next year – perhaps even better.

The gardening and flower influencer asked her followers: “What to do with your old tulips?

“I can tell you all think my tulips must look knackered because this is a very common question this week! OK, I agree they look awful.”

The British gardener warned her fans she had a disclaimer.

She said: “So officially this is not what to do but this is what I do! I am a rule breaker.

“So I pull out the whole bulb and tulip and store them in a bucket in the garage (which is dry)!

“What you are meant to do is leave them where they are for about six weeks after flowering so that everything goes yellow, dies down and the energy all goes back into the bulb.

“Do you see why this method is not for me? I don’t want ugly pots for six weeks.”

After allowing the flowers to die down, conventional wisdom encourages gardeners to store the bulbs for the next year.

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They can be planted in the garden next spring and stunning tulips may burst forth.

Sophie asked: “Perhaps any non rule breakers might confirm that if you follow the rules you might be rewarded with amazing tulips the following year?”

One follower wrote: “I do this too with the pots and it works, except I use a bag and cut the flower heads off so it stops trying to form seed heads!

“I forgot to plant mine and the tulips and daffs still grew in the bag which I had put outside ready to plant!”

Another said: “My tulips will either be lifted, bulbs n’ all, to flower indoors.

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“Or left in the pots until finished blooming, then chucked on my friend’s compost heap.

“I buy new tulip bulbs every year.”

One wrote: “If I like a particular tulip, I keep it in its pot down the shady part of the garden and just leave them to it.

“If they come back next year fine. I always buy more the next year so I really treat them as annuals.”

The same trick can be used for daffodils. 

Best bulbs which will come back year after year

  • Crocus
  • Summer Snowflake
  • Large-Cupped Daffodil
  • Cyclamineus Daffodil
  • Siberian Squill
  • Fosteriana Tulip (Orange Emporer)
  • Tuplia ‘Spring Green’
  • Tulipa Clusiana ‘Lady Jane’
  • Tulipa Tarda
  • Anemone Blanda (Grecian Windflower)

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