As spring bulb flowers fade and bed clean up continues, I notice foliage prematurely cut off or even tied up/braided. But resist doing so!
• Leave the foliage exposed to allow proper food production and storage for beautiful flowers next spring!
• Deadhead spent flowers to tidy overall appearance and re-direct nutrients to the bulbs.
• Consider inter-planting bulbs amongst perennials or annuals to disguise the fading appearance .
Also, I want to bring your attention to a new pathogen infecting the popular and colorful impatiens, as many are planning/planting annuals in the garden at this time. This pathogen, Plasmopara obducens- Impatiens Downy Mildew, causes rapid defoliation followed by stem collapse, I personally experienced this last year in the gardens. It seems within a matter of days the plants totally disintegrate/disappear.
Impatiens will most likely be less available at garden centers this year, but it does not affect other garden plants, except jewelweed. The pathogen survives over the winter inside on infected plant debris in soil and potentially outside from overwintering oospores of Plasmopara obducens on diseased plant debris in gardens and at least theoretically on wild jewelweeds.
New Guinea and Sunpatiens are not affected by this pathogen and other annual shade options include coleus, wax begonias, and browallia.