How to Split Planted Bulbs

Split overcrowded gardens. image by Andrea Kratzenberg/


Tulips, daffodils and crocuses are just a few types of plants with bulbed roots. Bulbs multiply and eventually will crowd your the nicely spaced garden, forcing you to split them. Splitting refers to the process of digging up excess bulbs. If you replant the bulbs, choose the largest bulbs because they will be the more mature plants with larger blooms.

Step 1

Dig a circle around each group of bulbs, straight down for at least 8 inches around the entire perimeter.

Step 2

Pull back on the handle of the shovel, outward toward the ground. Circle the bulbs in this manner until you can pull up the bulbs with your hands. Repeat the process for all bulbs, adjusting your digging depth as necessary.

Step 3

Shake off the loose dirt and separate the bulbs from one another.

Step 4

Replant the bulbs in a new location. Water well. If your plants still have green foliage, wait until they turn brown to clip them back so the bulbs can continue to store essential nutrients for next year's plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel


  • Splitting Perennials
Keywords: dig bulbs, replant bulbs, tulip dafodil

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: Andrea Kratzenberg/