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Behead Bulbs For The Best Blooms

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Off with their heads! Tulips, daffodils, snip, snip, snip.

Why should you go around snipping or snapping the tops off your bulbs once the show is over? Because a bulb is basically a food storage system – if you let a seed head develop, the bulb has to send up a lot of energy to make it. By snipping the top off your bulbs right after flowering, no seeds will be formed, so all that food stays in the bulb to make bigger, better blooms next year. You’re basically tricking the bulb into ‘trying again’ to make seeds again and thereby pretty much ensuring you’ll enjoy a future flower display.

If you think it’s hard snapping the heads off of your pretty little flowers after they’re done, imagine this: in Holland and other places where beautiful bulbs are grown like crops in massive fields, they whack the flowers off in bloom! Giant cutters go down the field rows and snip the flower top off of every one, in order to send us the best possible bulbs.

So, enjoy your bulbs just until the petals start to fade, open and drop, then snap off the tops. But leave the leaves until they turn yellow or brown because, as they do, they’ll load the bulbs with lots more food for next year too.

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