The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Tulip Bulbs

Question: A friend recently gave me several tulip bulbs she had dug out of her garden. They had already come up and have tender growth. I separated them and replanted in containers. some seem to be stongbut others have wilted over. Does this mean the bulbs have died or the transplanting was a shock for them. Will they bloom next year or are they history?

Answer: I'm sorry to say that the worst time to divide and transplant tulip bulbs would be when they are in the midst of their spring growth! Transplanting would be a shock. However, the bulbs store energy, so even though the foliage may look bad, the bulb is not dead. Let whatever foliage there is grow, bloom, and/or die back naturally. Don't cut it off until it has completely browned as it is providing energy to the bulb for next year. There are hundreds of varieties of tulips and some will bloom repeatedly but others don't do as well. I think it's definately worth caring for the bulbs to see if they will bloom again next spring. I hope this info helps!

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