Should I cut off the foliage on my tulips and daffodils damaged by cold temperatures in early spring?


The foliage on my tulips and daffodils has been damaged by record cold temperatures in early spring. Should I cut off the damaged foliage?


Tulip and daffodil foliage is usually present from late winter/early spring to early summer.  The 4 to 6 week period after flowering is especially important.  During this 4 to 6 week period, the foliage is manufacturing food for the underground bulbs.  Tulips, daffodils, and other spring-flowering bulbs must store adequate amounts of food in their bulbs in order to bloom again next spring. 

Tulip and daffodil foliage that has been damaged by cold temperatures will be white or tan in color.  If portions of the foliage are still green, do not cut back the foliage.  The green portions are still able to manufacture food.  While damaged tulip and daffodil foliage isn’t very attractive, the foliage should not be cut back until it is completely dead. 

Learn more about how to manage cold-damaged plants in this article: Cold and Freeze Damage to Garden Plants

Last updated on
April 17, 2023