I have a tree removal next week and I have bunches of tulips around the base. I would like to transplant the tulips but I feel the timing is bad. It is late April in zone 5b, so they are about to bloom.

Is there anything I can do to make the transplant easier on them? Temporary potting until the yard work is over would be preferred.

2 Answers 2


Yes, the timing is bad - but short of a time machine to travel back to the fall, just dig them up and pot them - they won't be happy, but they will probably mostly survive the experience if they are not already marginal. If they die, buy new ones. Digging in late evening might be best, so they can settle into the pots before the sun comes out.


Almost all the resources that bulbs need to flower come from the bulb itself, not from the soil. The only essential thing they need from the ground is water.

If you can lift a reasonable size block of soil around the bulbs, big enough not to break any roots, they won't even know you have moved them. Make sure they don't get too dry and they will flower normally.

The most important time is after flowering. If they are in pots, give them plenty of liquid feed and water until the foliage starts to die back. Stop watering and feeding and leave them to wither naturally. Then lift the bulbs, store them somewhere cool dry and well ventilated, and replant them at the same time as you would plant new bulbs.

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