Tulips are bright, colorful springtime flowers that come up with the daffodils and stay until early summer. New tulip growers who have only seen tulips in catalogs and markets may be surprised by the garden tulip’s timeline.
While tulips in markets and bouquets are closed and tight, a tulip’s true bloom comes when the petals open and spread wide. A single bulb may produce a profusion of 12- to 18-inch flower stems, with accompanying foliage. These blooms will last for six to eight weeks in the garden.
As each bloom’s life span comes to an end, it will begin to yellow and wilt. At this point, the gardener should cut off only the blossom of the plant and leave the rest.
Although the tulip’s foliage will become yellow and unattractive at this point, the gardener must leave it to die on its own. This is when the tulip bulb gathers nutrition for the next year’s blooming. Cutting away yellow foliage may damage the bulb and prevent any further growth.