K-State Research and Extension News
April 15, 2014
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Three Easy Tips for Spring-Flowering Bulbs Can Help Ensure Future Blooms

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – It seems to happen overnight, when the cold, dreary days of winter give way to green grass and colorful patches of flowers in the landscape.

Three easy steps you take now will help ensure spring-flowering bulbs will bloom for years to come, said Kansas State University horticulturist Ward Upham.

1.  If practical, remove spent flowers with a scissors or a hand pruner. This allows the plant to conserve its energy for bloom the next year rather than using it to produce seed.

2.  Allow foliage to die naturally — it is needed to manufacture food that will be stored in the bulb and used for next year’s flowers.

3.  Don’t fertilize. The roots of these plants start to shut down after flowering. Fertilizer applied at this time is wasted. Instead, fertilize during the fall at the time bulbs are normally planted and again in the spring when new growth pokes out of the ground.

Upham is the Horticulture Rapid Response coordinator with K-State Research and Extension. He also coordinates the state’s extension Master Gardener program.

More information about growing flowers, as well as fruits and vegetables, lawns, trees and shrubs is available at K-State Research and Extension county and district offices across Kansas and online.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Mary Lou Peter
K-State Research & Extension News

Ward Upham - 785-532-1438 or wupham@k-state.edu