How to Remove Tulip Bulbs

Tulips bloom each spring. image by Anne Wilken/


Tulips can generally survive winters underground. However, if you live in an environment with harsh winters or if you plan to transplant your tulips to a new location, then you will need to remove them to plant again in the fall.

Step 1

Wait to remove tulip bulbs until the foliage has started to brown or has turned brown. This way, the maximum amount of energy and nutrients are absorbed through the foliage and stored in the bulb.

Step 2

Cut off the foliage with a pair of shears.

Step 3

Dig up the bulbs carefully so you do not damage them. Generally, bulbs are planted about four to eight inches underground. Gather up any small bulbs as well that may have been produced over the years.

Step 4

Store in a dark cool place until fall when you can plant them again. Dispose of any mushy or soft bulbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
  • Trowel


  • North Dakota State University Extension Service
Keywords: dig bulbs, when dig tulips, transplant tulips

About this Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Photo by: Anne Wilken/