YARD & GARDEN NEWS EXTRA June 2019--Ask Extension about tulips

Asked June 14, 2019, 1:11 PM EDT

This was not a good enough answer! What should have been covered is the answer to the question "Can I dig the bulbs now" and "How to store them--or not". Maybe they need to be rejuvenated/divided or moved. Sure, you don't have to do anything if they're vigorous and you just want to plant annuals. But if they've died down, the questions asked need a different answer! Can I store them or can I replant immediately after dividing or moving? Thanks for listening.

Olmsted County Minnesota

2 Responses


I shared your comment with the educator who wrote the article. She is out of the office until Wednesday, at which time I expect to hear back from her. I'll share her response with you when available.



Here is the response from the educator that wrote the article....

Extension has some great information on what to do about tulip bulbs. You can leave them in the ground to re-flower...or pull them up after the leaves have gone brown and crispy and replant/divide them (if there are bulblets) in the fall.

Here's some more complete information from our website:
Hardy bulbs are treated as perennials, left in the ground year after year. Every three to four years they may need to be replaced or divided if they start to crowd each other and are not blooming well. If you have to move the bulbs because they are crowding or for some other reason, the best time is just after the foliage has yellowed and withered.

Carefully dig up the bulbs, shake off any loose soil and roots, discard any small ones and store the remainder in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place until fall planting time. Keep the bulbs out of direct sunlight and check them periodically for any disease. Old onion sacks or shallow seed trays work well for storing the bulbs over summer.