Dividing Bulbs

By The Old House Web
Certain bulbs need dividing or separating in order to maintain a healthy, flowering stand. Crowded bulbs are less likely to produce a high quantity and quality flowers. When flower number and size starts to diminish, consider separating the bulbs and replant.

Bulbs planted at recommended depths initially require less dividing and resetting.

Spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips and hyacinthsshould be divided in September or October. Granted, it is difficult to determine the location of the bulbs without staking or mapping them out previously. Care should be taken when digging to prevent damage to bulbs. It usually is easier to dig a large area and separate bulbs then trying to dig individual bulbs separately.

If bulbs are planted among trees, shrubs or perennials consider replacing the bulbs every three to five years instead of separating. This minimizes damage to the root system of the nearby plants.

Summer flowering bulbs can be divided in early April or late fall.

Some bulbs, including Surprise Lilies (Lycoris) may not appear to need dividing. However, plants will produce more flowers if divided.

When dividing or separating bulbs, carefully remove side bulbs from the main bulb. Replant at correct spacings.

Continued on next page

The following table provides a guideline for dividing bulbs. Bulb Years to Divide Tulips 3 - 5 Daffodils 3 - 6 Hyacinths 2 - 3 Lilies 4 - 6 Surprise Lily (Lycoris) 3 - 5 Iris (Bulbous types) 3 - 6 Alliums 4 - 8 Crocus seldom needed Grape Hyacinths (Muscari) seldom needed


Articles in this collection were copyrighted 1995 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For full copyright information about the articles in this encyclopedia, click here.

Search Improvement Project