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How to care for your bulbs after flowering

Penny Dacey, 28 April 2023


Hi Bulb Buddies, 


Many of you may be wondering what to do with your plants now that they have flowered. You don't need to trim your plant or re-plant your bulb until at least seven weeks after it has flowered. Leave your plants outside in the sunshine, as this allows the bulb to continue storing energy for the following year. 


Once your bulb has flowered you may wish to take it home, plant it in your school or even re-use your pot to grow something else. Read through the instructions below to decide how you would like to look after your bulb.


Keep your bulb in your pot

• Trim back the leaves. 

• Store your pot outside and out of the way until the following spring, when your flowers will start to grow again! Make sure your soil doesn’t dry out over the summer by watering when required.


Empty your pot

• Trim back the leaves. 

• Empty your pot onto some newspaper and look for your bulbs. 

• Shake them to remove any excess soil.

• Inspect your bulbs, only keep the ones that are look healthy and are of a good size. Discard those that are soft or rotten. Every few years bulbs double. When they double two bulbs will be joined together. If this is the case, pull them away from one another very carefully. When they are doubling, they make fewer flowers because they are putting their energy into making more bulbs. By separating them you should get more flowers. 


Plant your bulbs in your garden or school

• Follow the instructions on how to empty your pot.

• Find an area to plant the bulbs, choose a sunny or lightly shaded position. 

• Dig a hole for each bulb that is twice as deep as the height of your bulb and make sure the shoot is pointing upwards and the roots downwards.

• Plant each bulb two or three bulb widths apart.

• Your bulbs should now flower year after year. Inspect the bulbs and divide any doubles every three years to increase flowering. 

• You could now re-use your pot to plant a summer herb or flower. You may receive some seeds for taking part in the investigation that could be planted in your pots. 


Dry out your bulbs and store them until the following autumn

• If you don’t have a garden and you want to use your plant pot to grow something else you may wish to dry out your bulbs and store them over the summer.

• Follow the instructions on how to empty your pot.

• Lay bulbs on a tray or newspaper to dry for 1 week. Place in a labelled paper bag and store in a cool place until they are ready to plant again in November.


There are a number of options to choose from here. Hopefully you will be able to enjoy your plants again next Spring.


Professor Plant



Penny Dacey

Spring Bulbs Project Coordinator
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