Monty Don urges gardeners to complete one 'essential' task before end of May

BBC Gardeners' World presenter, Monty Don has shared an 'essential' gardening tip for tulip care in May to ensure the beautiful flowers return. The gardening expert has emphasised the importance of deadheading tulips after they've bloomed to encourage a vibrant display next year.

Monty encourages pruning back before the end of the month, reports BirminghamLive. He said: "If you have tulips growing in borders, deadhead them once they are past their best. This will stop the development of seeds so that all the energy goes into forming new bulbs for next year's flowers."

He further explained the correct technique: "The best way to deadhead them is simply to snap off the spent flowers with the growing seed pod using your fingers. Do not cut back the stem or any of the foliage as this will all contribute to the growing bulbs as they slowly die back."

Read more:

Contrary to Monty's advice, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) suggests on its website that tulips require minimal maintenance. "Simply remove the withered stems and foliage in summer once they have turned straw-coloured," RHS advises gardeners across the UK.

The RHS also notes that the removal process is usually straightforward: "[They] usually come away easily without needing to cut them."

Echoing his own guidance on his blog, Monty Don encourages garden enthusiasts: "When you deadhead you are effectively pruning and thus stimulating fresh side shoots which will bear new flower buds and therefore extend the flowering season."

Monty added: "Deadheading also stops the plant developing seed and increases the chances of repeat flowering as seeds always take precedence from the plant's supplies of nutrients and water."

Using a pair of secateurs, according to the professional advice, you should trim back to the first leaf below the withered blossom. "A new shoot will then grow from this point," he said.

BBC Gardeners' World can be viewed on BBC Two on Friday evenings and BBC iPlayer.

⚠️ Want the latest Devon breaking news and top stories first? Click here to join our WhatsApp group . We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice ⚠️