The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Bulbs

Question: I have tulips and crocuses that have to be moved to widen a driveway. What is the correct timeing and procedure, including the need to fertilize, trim dead leaves, cut roots, etc. They will likely have to be stored over the summer and replanted in the fall, when the construction is complete.

Answer: The best way to transplant these is to move them this spring if possible, rather than to dig and store them. If dug with a nice clump of soil, replanted immediately, and watered in, they will barely know they have been moved.

Alternatively, you will need to leave the bulbs in place while the foliage grows and eventually browns, then you can dig them, shake off the soil, allow them to air dry and then store in a relatively cool dry area until fall. Keep them in a single layer on shelves or in paper bags or in mesh onion bags or similarly airy setting.

Although it takes time, the foliage must be allowed to grow and wither in order to rebuild the bulb's strength. If you skimp on this the bulb will suffer.

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