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What To Do With Dead Tulips

Caring for the plants around your garden can sometimes be an endless task. Are some of your tulips starting to die or already dead, and you aren't sure what's next? Should you deadhead the tulips around your yard if they begin to wilt away?

Well, we've done some research and have the answers below. Let's dive right in!

If you notice the tulips in your yard have died, it's generally best to prune them. Although removing the flowers from a tulip plant can seem premature, this is a great way to preserve your plant's energy.

Many experts recommend deadheading tulips once they start to die, as this will ensure healthy blooms next year.

As we begin, we will cover all things tulips and discuss when it's time to deadhead them. We're here for you whether you're new to these flowers or need help with a troublesome plant. With that said, let's get into this topic and many other fun facts below!

Faded tulips. A bouquet of faded red tulips.Faded tulips. A bouquet of faded red tulips - What To Do With Dead Tulips

Should You Cut Off Dead Tulips?

Isolated dried flowers tulips

If you start noticing your tulips die, that would be a good time to grab a pair of garden shears. As we mentioned, deadheading the wilted flowers from a tulip plant can be beneficial.

Not only will removing the dead or dying flower preserve energy for the rest of your plant, but it also helps ensure a strong bloom next year.

With that said, you don't want to cut off a tulip before it is entirely dead. Sometimes, your plant may look a little tired if the weather is poor, so don't grab scissors or shears quite yet.

Generally, a dead tulip will be completely brown and wilted, so if yours still has some color, we recommend waiting a week or two longer.

The last thing anyone wants to do is kill a beautiful flower before it's time, so please be mindful of this.

Moreover, the second you remove a flower from your tulip plant, this will alert the rest of it that springtime is over, and no more flowers will bloom.

When Should I Deadhead Tulips?

9 pink dried tulips on a white background. Empty space for text on top. After the holiday. dying flowers

For anyone not sure whether it's time to deadhead, take a good look at your tulip. Most often, tulips will begin to die back in late June or early July, so that's a timeline to remember.

As we covered above, tulips will be entirely brown and withered once they die. That means if yours still has some color or signs of life, you don't want to deadhead it.

Doing this can prematurely end the blooming cycle of your plant, which means you have to wait another year to see any more flowering.

Typically, tulips will begin their dying process as the temperatures drop. Think of this as the end of summer. Like many flowers, your tulips won't be green and beautiful year-round, so enjoy them while they are alive and colorful.

Additionally, you don't always need to deadhead tulips. If you prefer, let the petals/leaves fall from your plant naturally, as mother nature intended.

On the same note, your tulips may hold out longer than expected if the weather is still great through the late summer.

How Do You Prune Tulips?

If it's time to do some light pruning, this won't be super difficult. Since the only part of a tulip you need to deadhead is its flower, this entire process shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

When you're ready, grab a sharp pair of scissors or gardening shears. Next, find the flower you want to remove and follow it down the stem.

Carefully use your scissors to remove the tulip and stem down to the first leaf you see. Think of this as a reset for your plant, which won't end up harming it.

Remember, you don't usually need to deadhead a tulip unless it has no petals or is brown/withered, so try not to go overboard during the pruning process.

Here's a helpful video tutorial we found on YouTube on how to properly do this:

What Happens If You Cut Back Tulips Too Early?

Let's say you accidentally cut back your tulips before the end of summer. Will doing this kill your plant? Luckily, no, premature pruning of tulips will instead stunt your plant's blooming for the current year.

As we said earlier, cutting back tulip flowers before their time can be shocking to your plant. Remember, your plant doesn't know what month or day it is, so when you deadhead it, that triggers it to begin its winter dormancy.

However, it's usually okay to prune if you see a few dying tulips and don't want to wait until they are fully brown. The key here is moderation and being gentle with your plant.

Flowers, in general, tend to respond better to minimal deadheading during their spring/summer bloom time, so if you can, try to leave your tulips alone during this period.

It would also be a shame to end your plant's flowering all over one or two wonky-looking tulips, so embrace the imperfection!

When Do Tulips Generally Bloom?

Colorful Dutch tulips against a blue sky with white clouds

Generally, you can expect a tulip to bloom in early spring. March through April will start flowering for most tulip plants, often lasting into the later summer.

Of course, weather can affect the start and end of a tulip blooming cycle. For example, if it's still chilly in March, you may not see any flowers until mid-late April.

Furthermore, if it gets warmer one year than the other, you could even see signs of life in late February. Again, nature is a mystery, so this is not always the same for everybody.

According to DutchGrown, if the weather stays moderate during the spring (not too hot or cold), this will extend the blooming period for your tulips.

Considering most plants will show flowers for a few weeks during the spring, this could mean multiple rounds of blooming and longer-lasting tulips.

That said, tulips are infamous for their short lifespan. The gorgeous blooms don't typically last more than 1-2 weeks at a time, so we don't recommend fussing with them during their prime.

Will Tulips Produce Multiple Rounds Of Flowers In A Year?

Spring tulips

Even though these flowers are technically perennials, that doesn't always mean yearly blooming. Unfortunately, not all tulips have the same flowering schedule.

Some of these beautiful plants will behave more like annuals, coming back one year and then staying pretty bleak the next. Again, this depends on various conditions, like weather, upkeep, and overall plant health.

Tulips, like many flowers, tend to thrive in moderate conditions. So, if this year the spring and summer remain not too hot or cold, you will see plenty of flowers.

On the other hand, if the weather is super hot, dry, or frigid next year, don't expect many blooms to show up. It can be hard to predict the weather so far in advance, so this comes down to what the temperatures are like starting around March.

You also want to consider the age of your tulip. If it is pretty new, you might not get blooms the first year or two. Typically, more mature tulips will bloom the most frequently, so this can be a waiting game.

If you're worried about a lackluster blooming season, adding some slow-release fertilizer to your tulips might be a good idea just as spring hits.

Dr. Earth 700P Organic 1 Bulb Fertilizer

This fertilizer is 100% organic and hand-crafted, has a target pH of 6.5, works for tulips, feeds short and long-term, and comes in a four-pound bag.

View this plant food on Amazon.

How Long Do Tulips Live?

Faded tulips. A bouquet of faded red tulips.

Tulips will usually live between one and ten years. Of course, this greatly depends on what type of tulip you grow and its conditions.

As we said, tulips can act more like annuals in the way they bloom and grow, so they aren't always a for sure flower in your garden.

In addition, according to Home Garden Joy, the closer a tulip is to a wild Turkish variety, the longer it will live. Fun fact, tulips don't originate from the Netherlands.

Instead, these gorgeous flowers came from the high plains of Central Asia, with the leader of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Suleyman the Firstof the first people to cherish them for their beauty.

Again, this is all history, but the closer your home's environment to the high plains of Central Asia, the longer and more flower-filled your tulips will be.

Where Is The Best Place To Grow Tulips?

If you want to grow tulips in your yard, ensure they have plenty of sun exposure. Ideally, a tulip will get plenty of warm sunlight in the earlier morning hours, leading into a shadier afternoon-evening.

Considering this flower species doesn't respond well to extreme heat, you don't want to plant them in a location with no shade. However, if you live somewhere with moderate summers, you might be okay to skip the shade.

You also need to ensure the soil around a tulip drains well and is rich in nutrients. Furthermore, the ground beneath your flower should have a neutral to slightly acidic pH, so that's something else to consider.

To Finish

Whether you want to start growing tulips or have some in your garden, it's essential to know their blooming schedule. From what we found, tulips will bloom in the spring and eventually start to die off towards the end of the summer.

You can remove the dead tulips from your plant using a pair of garden shears. We recommend following your flower down to the first leaf on its stem and cutting from there.

Regardless, make sure to let your tulip bloom as long as it wants to before pruning it, and don't be afraid to leave this to nature.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related garden posts below!

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