How to Replant Tulip Bulbs


Tulip, like daffodils, are among the first flowers to bloom every spring. Tulips bloom for between two to four years as opposed to other bulbs that bloom year after year. Replant and relocate tulip bulbs from one part of the yard to another if you feel they are performing poorly. This allows you to add color to another spot and get the most out of the tulip bulbs before replacing them. The resilient bulbs withstand digging and replanting without showing signs of stress, and continue to bloom into beautiful flowers in spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Compost
  • Bulb fertilizer
  • Garden hose
  • Prepare the new planting bed after the final blooms on tulip bulbs have faded and died. Dig the tulip bed with a shovel to a depth of 6 inches in your desired shape. Rake the soil to loosen compacted mounds. Add 2 to 3 inches of organic compost over the bed and and till to a depth of 8 inches.

  • Walk toward the current planting bed. Dig into the soil with a shovel, 2 inches away from the tulip plant. Tulip bulbs lie 4 to 6 inches below the soil. Work around the bulb carefully so you do not nick or hit it. Slide the shovel under the bulb to scoop it out of the soil. Place the tulip bulb along with the clump of dirt beside you. Slide the shovel into the soil again to remove all tulip bulbs from the planting bed.

  • Remove the dirt from each tulip bulb. Inspect each for damage or disease and discard if necessary.

  • Dig a planting hole in the new planting bed for each bulb. Make sure each hole is deep enough to allow the top of each bulb to sit 3 inches below soil surface. Space holes 4 to 6 inches apart. Sprinkle a pinch of bulb fertilizer into each hole and cover with a layer of dirt to prevent direct contact.

  • Lower each bulb into a hole so its pointed tip faces upward, and cover it with soil. Tamp it down so the soil settles in place. Water the planting bed until the soil is evenly moist. Spread 2 inches of mulch over the bed to retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing there.

Tips & Warnings

  • Allow the tulips blooms to fall off and fade naturally by mid to late spring. Wait at least six weeks before replanting.
  • Make sure the spot receives at least six hours of direct sunlight and has well-draining soil.
  • Squirrels dig up tulip bulbs and eat them. Protect the planting area with wire cages, or spray squirrel repellent to ensure healthy blooms in spring.

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  • Photo Credit yellow tulips image by Jorge Moro from
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