Transplanting bulbs - Knowledgebase Question

Hauppauge, NY
Question by alexjarred
July 8, 2007
When is the best time to transplant Iris's & Lillies & what is the best way? Also, why do the bulbs on some Iris's grow above the soil?

Answer from NGA
July 8, 2007


There are many different kinds of iris. Some have rhizomes that grow along the surface of the soil, such as German bearded iris. These are best divided about six weeks or so after they finish blooming. Replant these so the rhizomes are at the soil surface, do not bury them.

Siberian iris (Iris sibirica) and Japanese iris (Iris ensata) grow in clumps that are best divided and replanted in the early fall. Replant these at the same depth as they grew before.

Others, such as Iris reticulata, are actual bulbs that are planted fairly deep in the soil. These are usually planted in the fall.

Lily bulbs (lilium) can be tranplanted in the fall. Lift and replant promptly because lily bulbs do not have a dormant season.

Daylilies (Hemerocallis) can be divided in spring or fall. Replant at the same depth as it grew before.

I hope this helps!

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