The Q&A Archives: Tulips

Question: When is the best time to move tulip bulbs from one part of the garden to another? When is the best time to move daffodils from one part of the garden to another? I received some tulips in the fall of 1995 and planted them as directed about 8" deep theycame up fine in the spring of 1996 and were big and pretty, but this spring 1997 I have a number of them which are only coming up with one or two leaves and no flowers. What have I done wrong? Are the bulbs damaged, planted too deep, not deep enough,or need food? Can they be brought back? The bulbs are planted in an area where they get the afternoon sun only and some are in clusters about 1' from low evergreens. Thanks. Raymond Stout Verga, NJ

Answer: You've done nothing wrong, I assure you!! The bulbs have used up all their food reserves and need to rejuvenate themselves. It is a common practice to discard tulip bulbs after they have flowered. I'm sure you don't want to discard the bulbs, so digthem up and plant them in an out of the way place. In a couple of years they will have built up enough reserves to flower again. Dig them up after the leaves have faded. Daffodils can be moved after they have finished flowering and the leaves have started to yellow.

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