How to Care for Transplanted Tulip Bulbs


Tulip bulbs are hardy bulbs that can withstand winters all the way to USDA zone 3. They are self-propagating plants that need to be dug up and divided every few years after the garden becomes overcrowded. Transplanting tulip bulbs is a common practice among gardeners, especially after division. Because the bulbs are resilient, they require little care after being transplanted.

Step 1

Allow the foliage to naturally die away in the fall before transplanting your tulip bulbs, if possible. This will give them lots of time to make carbohydrates for next year's plants through the process of photosynthesis. Cut the foliage back so only a few inches are left above the ground. Then carefully dig up the bulbs, separating attached bulbs with your hands if necessary, and replant them 4 to 6 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart from one another.

Step 2

Pack down the soil after transplanting your tulip bulbs. Then water them and pack down the soil again until it is firm. This will remove any air pockets which can rot out the bulbs over time.

Step 3

Cover the planting bed with mulch, especially in colder zones. This will help keep your newly transplanted tulip bulbs warm in the winter. Even though they're hardy, colder than usual winters can harm them.

Step 4

Water about once a week when rain is scarce and one last time a couple days before the first deep freeze of the season. This will give the transplanted bulbs one last drink until spring time.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch


  • North Dakota State University Extention Service
Keywords: care tulip bulbs, transplant tulips, divide tulips

About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.