How to make sure your bulbs keep flowering year after year

Have you ever planted bulbs, had a lovely display of flowers for the first year, but then the flowers haven't grown again the following year?

If the answer is yes, then don't worry, you are not alone. In fact, many people experience the same problem, and it could be that you are making one very simple but common mistake which, once rectified, could ensure that you never have this issue again.

Once your bulb has flowered it is vital that you leave the leaves alone and allow them to die back naturally. Don't do anything with your plant until the foliage has died back completely.

That doesn't mean that you can't pick a stem with a flower on it and put it in a vase, so don't panic, you can still have your cut flowers. It just means that you need to leave the leaves alone.

Why is this? Quite simply it is because the leaves contain all of the plant's nutrients. Those nutrients go back down into what is called a basal plate, which is the base of the plant's bulb, and it is that basal plate that forms the next generation's bulb.

Unfortunately, once the flower has died back, people tend to think that the leaves that are left look unsightly and so either neck them and turn them over (which incidentally is the worst thing you can do as it stops the nutrients going back down to the basal plate), or cut them off, which removes the nutrients.

So, what does happen if you do get rid of the leaves? Well if you had a display of daffodils in your lawn for example and you cut the leaves before the foliage had died back, as people quite often do, you would get one of two outcomes the next year.

The first outcome is that they will be blind. This means that you will get leaf formation but no flower. The second possible outcome is that there will be no growth or development that year or ever again because it will have severely impacted the plant itself.

However, if you follow these simple instructions and allow the leaves to die back naturally then your flowers should grow not only grow again in the second year but your bulbs should provide you with a display of daffodils for the next 25 years. 

If you need more help with planting or looking after your bulbs then please contact us. Boston Bulbs Wholesale is a privately owned business with over 35 years experience of importing only the finest quality horticultural products throughout Europe and from farmers and growers all over the UK. Whether you're a landscaper, nursery, local authority, wholesaler, retailer, private business or individual gardener, just give us a call on 01775 769 333 or visit / for help with flower bulbs, grass seed and more. 

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