The Q&A Archives: Tulip Bulblets

Question: I planted some tulips last fall that came up wonderfully this spring. I recently decided to move them to a new location but upon digging them up I noticed that there were many small bulbs along with the larger ones. What can (should) I do with them?

Answer: Bulbs that are planted more shallowly than recommended tend to produce bulblets more quickly, and have less floral display as a result. You can leave the bulblets in place, or remove them and plant them, if you like. To grow them to flowering size takes a few years, but if you'd like to try, here's how. Plant the bulblets 1" deep and 1" apart in a prepared garden bed in full sun, where they'll stay for two years. A light application of fertilizer in spring is helpful. After two years, check the bulblets for size in early fall - those that have grown to 1" or larger across the base can be planted to the "normal" depth for those types, and they should bloom within a couple of years. Enjoy!

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