The Q&A Archives: Moving Tulips

Question: I have planted some tulip bulbs in a container and put them outside. We have recently moved and our backyard is now complete, and I would like to move the bulbs from the container to our backyard. When is the best time to move the bulbs? Would I be able to move the tulips before they bloom or while they are blooming or will this harm the flower?

Answer: It would be best to allow the tulips to remain where they are until after they've flowered and the foliage has died down naturally. The leaves will transport energy back into the bulb for next year's bloom, so allow them to wither and die down on their own. Then dig the bulbs and store them in a cool, dark location. In your gardening region the bulbs will need an artificial chilling period prior to being replanted. Place the bulbs in a paper bag and put them in your refrigerator for 12 weeks prior to planting. (You can plant in December or January for spring bloom.)

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