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Dividing Tulip Bulbs

Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Dividing Tulip Bulbs

Dividing tulip bulbs is a step that most tulip growers undertake to ensure that the bulbs remain healthy and flower for longer periods of time. Let's find out what the process is and also how to go about it.
Sujata Iyer
Last Updated: Mar 9, 2018
Whether they're in huge fields or simply in a pot on a window sill, tulips have got to be one of the most alluring flowers ever! Their vibrant colors and simply joyful appearance can bring a smile to anyone's face. And though they are claimed to be perennial plants, the truth is that they are more of an annual variety. Again, this depends on the kind of care and conditions that the plant is exposed to. Some people have a problem with the plant: it seems to wilt away and not flower more than once. For all of you, and also those who would like to renew the vigor with which your tulip plant blossoms the next time, you can undertake a dividing process for them and help them grow better. This Gardenerdy article will tell you exactly how to do it.
What is Tulip Bulb Dividing?

For the uninitiated, let us first begin with the explanation about what dividing the tulip bulbs really means. As the word suggests, it means that you need to 'divide' or break up the whole lot of tulip bulbs and have them planted in another area. This has been known to help the tulip bulbs get healthier and as a result, have better blossoms in the next season. Different climatic conditions unfavorable soil, or improper care and handling of tulip bulbs can render the plant very weak and unable to grow properly to its full potential. Replanting the bulbs in another location helps the plant to get a renewed life and hence helps it grow better.

When is it Done?

Most people know that dividing the tulip bulbs is a good idea, but they do not know when exactly this should be done in order to help the plant reap the maximum benefits of the process. Let this be the guide for them. When your tulip plant has blossomed for the season, you can appreciate its beauty. Now, after it has bloomed for the season and when it begins to show signs of deterioration, that's when you carry out the dividing procedure. When you notice that the plant has wilted leaves and has begun to dry out, that's when you should divide them. If you want a season, then somewhere around the middle of summer should be fine. However make sure that the plant has already bloomed for the season. Else, you may end up damaging the flowering prospects of the plant.

How is it Done?

So, we know why and when we can divide tulip bulbs. Time to get our hands dirty and to know how exactly to go about the dividing process. Here are the very easy steps.

First, pick a spot for replanting the bulbs that you will be removing. Make sure that the spot you pick receives the same amount of sunlight, has the same soil (or better if that's what your plant requires) and other similar conditions.
❀ Now, you need to remove the tulip bulbs from where they are planted. So, carefully dig up the area surrounding the plant, and once that is done, gently pull out the bulbs from the earth.
❀ You can clean off the bulbs and remove any excess dirt that has accumulated in them. Until you get the area ready for replanting, you can store the bulbs in a cotton towel.
❀ Now, what you have to do is, dig the area that you have chosen for replanting the bulbs. When you dig, you need to ensure that the hole is as deep as the one in which the bulb was earlier planted. On an average, you may dig about 8 inches into the earth.
❀ Now, gently lower the bulbs into their new earth. Cover up the hole with mud and you may add peat moss or any other organic compound to help the bulbs grow better.
Sometimes, dividing the tulip bulbs by replanting only some of the bulbs has also proven to be effective in encouraging the plant to bloom better. So, you may want to try moving just one section of the bulbs. Remember to give the replanted ones the same care that they received in their earlier spot and they'll reward you with lovely blooms!
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