Flowers grown from bulbs are popular and desirable cut flowers in spring, summer and even in winter. Whether harvesting blooms at their peak for use in arrangements or cutting off spent flower stalks from bulbs being dug for storage, cutting off blooms is an easy job. Make sure you use clean cutting tools to prevent the spread of disease, and harvest blooms in the early morning when they are at their peak of hydration for long vase life.
Harvest fresh blooms grown from bulbs when the flower head is in full swollen bud or just as it begins to open to capture the longest vase life possible. Make cuts at the base of the flower stalk or stem just at or above the crown of the plant. Make one clean cut with sharp pruning shears and pull the flower stalk from the plant. Place the flowers into cool water immediately after cutting. Recut stems under water if they are stored out of water for any period of time after cutting.
Deadhead spent blooms that emanate from the bulb by cutting the main flower stalk down to the crown of the plant just above the soil. Bulb flowers will not regenerate from cut stems so traditional deadheading, where you remove just the bloom, is not applicable. Allow the bloom stalk to die back before cutting to allow the bulb to recoup some of the energy and moisture stored in the flower stem.
Harvest bulbs for digging, dividing or winter storage by allowing the foliage and flower stems to die back in place and recharge the bulbs. Shear off all of the plant material down to the crown of the plant and then carefully lift the bulb from the soil. Cut off any remaining green top foliage emanating from the bulb.