I have inherited a garden with a lot of naturalised bulbs that are too hard to lift. The first few years the flowers were prolific but recent years have seen fewer and fewer blooms but lots of green lush leaves.

I have used specific fertiliser. The site is somewhat shaded but not densely.

Have the bulbs reached the end of their life?

  • Trudy Dickinson asked 4 years ago
  • last edited 4 years ago
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Hi Trudy, bulbs do have a limited lifespan, each bulb might only last 2-3 years, some of the bulbs can “naturalise” where old bulbs rot away and get replaced by the following generation, this is very hard to achieve in most of NZ gardens.
In NZ we generally recommend lifting bulbs yearly if not every 2-3 years. This is to remove old and diseased bulbs and then replant the fresh new bulbs. We also recommend that most bulbs will benefit from a “cooling” period (4-6 weeks in the fridge). As some bulbs need that cooling period to help in the flowering – and it doesn’t do any harm!.
In your case, ensure that you let the foliage completely die down before mowing the area, as cutting the foliage before it dies down might affect the flowering, The only other option is to lift them.
Thanks, the Palmers team

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