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How to Move Spring Bulbs

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Will Need

  • Garden fork
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Bonemeal

About the Author


M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.