Can cutting down your tulips too early cause them to not grow flowers?
I realized that last year I cut my bulb flowers and leaves before they had died off completely. Could I have caused them to not bloom this year? If I let them died off this year will that save them?
It's possible that cutting the above-ground green away too early one year may cause problems with flowering the following year.
Delaying the cut-back supposedly lets the plant maximize the gains from photosynthesis. It therefore sends the plant into winter with a comfortable build-up of stored starches and sugars.
Cutting back before dieback may not allow the plant to store up enough energizers to get through the winter and prepare for spring.
But flowering does not happen just because of stored energy reserves from photosynthesis. It also happens because of specific heat, light, and moisture levels above and below ground. It also happens in response to environmental balance.
An environment under stress -- such as from bulb and root-nibbling pests or during extended drought or extensive inorganic spraying -- will have consequences above-ground in terms of flowering, fruiting, leafing out and/or seeding.
Yes, they need to photosynthesise to store enough energy for next year's flowers.
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