How to Cut Back Tulips
Tulips are plants with underground root structures called bulbs. After they are finished blooming, they’re still busy at work, soaking sunlight into their foliage, converting it into energy and storing that energy in the bulbs. This is called photosynthesis. The energy is then used to form and grow next year’s plants. Therefore, if you want a thriving tulip bed the next spring, you must give them some time to photosynthesize before cutting the foliage back.
Things You’ll Need
- Hand clippers
- Pruning shears or scissors
- Clip off the tulip flower stalks after they are done blooming. Use hand clippers to clip the stalk near the base of the plant.
- Leave the foliage intact while it is still green. If desired, gather the foliage together with the palms of your hands and loosely tie them with twine. Then, you can plant annuals around or between the plain, green foliage that you may consider unsightly.
- Cut back the tulip’s foliage only after it turns yellow or brown on its own. Use pruning shears or scissors to cut it back to the base of the plant. After they yellow or brown, the tulips will have stored the needed energy to grow back next spring.