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When should I cut back spent tulips and daffadills?

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Although these are bulb plants, the way they get energy to the bulb is through photosynthesis from the leaves.  If leaves are still green and growing, just remove the flower and let the leaves photosynthesize, that is take carbon dioxide, water and sun's energy, to produce sugars and oxygen.  The sugars will travel down to the bulb and replenish energy used up when flowering.  After leaves are spent, then you can trim leaves down to base of plant.

Posted on 1 Jun 2009

Maggie Shao
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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