when to cut down leaves

May 23, 2008
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Category: Growing Daffodils

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Dear Daffnetters,
When is really the best time to finally cut down daffodil and tulip leaves and begin to mow the entire lawn?  I’ve read “when the leaves turn yellow” or “six weeks after they stop blooming”.  Well, some of the daffodils have stopped blooming about six weeks ago and the leaves are still green.  What should I do?  In others, the tips and some of the leaves have turned yellow, but some are partly yellow and still partly green.  What should I do?
Looking forward to receiving practical instructions,
Niels


5 responses to “when to cut down leaves”

  1. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland Brian Duncan says:

    Niels,
    Rest a while.
    Relax.
    Let them be!
    Until you can stand them no more
    Let the sap from those leaves
    Flow back into the bulbs
    To make flowers 
    For your enjoyment
    Next year.
    Brian Duncan 

  2. Debbie Green says:

    I’m curious about variety differences in time to leaves dying down or climate effects on these.  I have some leaves from bulbs that flowered in January looking as green or greener than ones that bloomed in April.  The leaves also seem to be persisting longer here in mountains of NC than they did in coastal VA where I used to live.  From a gardening perspective fast-maturing foliage is obviously a desirable trait.

     

    Debbie in Western NC

     

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  3. Donna Dietsch says:
    Hi Debbie,
    I have found differences in the maturation of foliage between the divisions and not expecially among different cultivars.  For me, jonquil foliage seems to persist longer than the other divisions.  I remember one year when the foliage from the previous year was still there and partly green when the current year’s folige started to emerge.
    I subscribe to Brian’s viewpoint.  Cut the leaves when you can’t stand it any more.  Then again, if you have naturalized them in the grass, then it is when the grass really, really needs to be cut.  Knee high is about right.
    Early maturation may be good for the gardener, but it is usually not so good for the garden.
    Donna Dietsch
    Columbus Ohio

    Deborah Green < title=> wrote:

    I’m curious about variety differences in time to leaves dying down or climate effects on these.  I have some leaves from bulbs that flowered in January looking as green or greener than ones that bloomed in April.  The leaves also seem to be persisting longer here in mountains of NC than they did in coastal VA where I used to live.  From a gardening perspective fast-maturing foliage is obviously a desirable trait.
     
    Debbie in Western NC
     
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  4. Bill Lee says:

    In a message dated 5/23/2008 4:38:20 PM Pacific Standard Time,  title= writes:

    Cut the leaves when you can’t stand it any more. 

    I always wait until the foliage has fallen down and turned yellow, at which point you can just pull it off. Some advise putting some soil over the hole that remains so excess rain does not have a chance to get into the neck of the bulb.
    I also never use a cutting implement to remove the foliage. Theoretically, if one plant is diseased, and you cut the foliage and then go along the row and cut foliage on other clumps, you’re doing a “Typhoid Mary”, spreading the disease. Am I exaggerating the danger?
    Bill Lee


    Get trade secrets for amazing burgers. Watch “Cooking with Tyler Florence” on AOL Food.

  5. Donna Dietsch says:
    Bill,  Boy!! It is a good thing Dave Karnstedt is not here to blast me for that remark!!  He was a proponent of the thought that you could spread disease from one plant to another by cutting the flowers or the leaves with the same implement.  He cited the virus attack on the Isle of Scilly that nearly wiped out the stock there.  I don’t cut the leaves,  I am much to lazy for that!  I let them die off and then collect the brown leaves.  I just push aside the leaves and plant marigolds in between.  If you do it right, you don’t even have to collect the brown leaves.
    Donna

     title= wrote:

    In a message dated 5/23/2008 4:38:20 PM Pacific Standard Time,  title= writes:

    Cut the leaves when you can’t stand it any more. 

    I always wait until the foliage has fallen down and turned yellow, at which point you can just pull it off. Some advise putting some soil over the hole that remains so excess rain does not have a chance to get into the neck of the bulb.
    I also never use a cutting implement to remove the foliage. Theoretically, if one plant is diseased, and you cut the foliage and then go along the row and cut foliage on other clumps, you’re doing a “Typhoid Mary”, spreading the disease. Am I exaggerating the danger?
    Bill Lee


    Get trade secrets for amazing burgers. Watch “Cooking with Tyler Florence” on AOL Food.