How to Move Spring Bulbs


If your spring bulbs need a change of scenery or if they aren't producing big, bright blooms, things may improve if you move the spring bulbs to a different location. Spring bulbs require well-drained soil and plenty of bright sunshine, so consider placement carefully before you move the bulbs.

Step 1

Move spring blooms in autumn after the foliage wilts and turns yellow. It's important to leave the spring bulbs in place while the foliage is still green, because the bulbs absorb energy for the next blooming season through the green leaves.

Step 2

Prepare the planting site before you move the spring bulbs. Use a garden fork or a shovel to work the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches. Mix 2 to 3 inches of compost into the soil, and for every 10 square feet of planting area, add 2 cups of bonemeal.

Step 3

Dig the spring bulbs carefully with a garden fork. Dig a few inches from the clump of bulbs so you don't slice into the bulbs, and continue digging in a circle around the plants. When the bulbs are loose, lift them carefully from the soil with the garden fork.

Step 4

Inspect the spring bulbs before you move them. Discard any old, woody bulbs that show no growth, along with bulbs that are soft or bruised.

Step 5

Plant the spring bulbs in the prepared soil. Dig a hole for each bulb, and plant the bulbs at a depth approximately three times the height of the bulb. Daffodils and tulips should be planted 6 to 8 inches deep, and smaller bulbs such as snowdrops or crocus will be planted about 4 or 5 inches deep. If you live in a cold-winter climate, plant the bulbs about 1 inch deeper.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Bonemeal


  • University of Vermont: Moving Spring Bulbs
  • Oregon State University: What to do With Your Withered, Finished Hardy Springs Bulbs
  • University of Illinois Extension: Bulbs & More
Keywords: spring bulbs, move tulips, move daffodils, moving spring bulbs

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.