How to Transplant Spring Bulbs


Traditionally, transplanting your spring bulbs was a task that waited till the fall and involved digging around in the garden for those hidden gems. University of Idaho Extension horticulturist Steve Love has a better idea. Transplanting your bulbs in the late spring, when the foliage just begins to wilt, but is still attached to the bulb, makes the bulbs easier to find and, if done correctly, doesn't harm the bulbs.

Step 1

Dig up your bulbs with a shovel. Dig deep to ensure you don't harm the bulbs and roots.

Step 2

Place the clump of bulbs in a shady place to avoid the sun drying out the spring bulbs and root system.

Step 3

Divide the clump of bulbs into single bulbs. Choose only the large, healthy-looking bulbs to transplant; discard bulbs that appear diseased.

Step 4

Enrich the soil in the space you want to transplant the spring bulbs to. Mix compost or peat moss in thoroughly to blend the organic matter and loosen the soil.

Step 5

Dig a hole in the soil approximately 10 inches deep. Place 5-10-5 bone meal at the bottom of the hole and cover the meal with enough soil to make the hole roughly 6 to 8 inches deep.

Step 6

Plant your spring bulb in the hole and cover with soil up to the bottom of the foliage. Follow with a thorough watering.

Step 7

Keep the foliage attached to the bulb until it dies off completely. Once dead, remove the foliage from the bulb.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not transplant your bulbs until the foliage has begun to wither.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost or peat moss
  • Bone meal


  • University of Idaho Extension: Transplanting Spring Bulbs
  • Caring for Spring Bulbs

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois Extension: Caring for Spring Bulbs
Keywords: transplant spring bulbs, bone meal, peat moss

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.