We have a lot of green foliage that never died back over the winter,
mostly from bulbs. We're just getting some new sprouts/blooms on
crocuses, etc., and I'm wondering if I can cut back the foliage from the
old plants in order to make the new blooms stand out, and to just
basically clean up the garden.
Thanks for your advice! :)
As a total rule never remove green leaves from any plant, growing from
underground, that you wish to retain and flower again.
It is highly unlikely that the older leaves are from any of the bulbs or
crocuses making new growth.
Foliage from spring blooming bulbs like crocus, narcissus and tulips should
be allowed to remain on the plant and ripen and dry before being removed.
Unsightly, yes, but necessary to return nutrients back into the bulbs to
generate next season's flowers. The foliage of other plants - typically
perennials and summer or fall flowering bulbs - can be cleaned up at this
time of year, but don't get carried away. Some will retain foliage through
winter for added cold protection and others often generate a basal show of
foliage that is an early start on the new growing season. Best just to
remove foliage that is obviously dead or otherwise disfigured from the
winter and leave the rest.
pam - gardengal
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