How to Plant Tulips Outside After They Bloom in Pots

Written by kaye morris
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How to Plant Tulips Outside After They Bloom in Pots
A beautiful field of tulips. (John-Morgan/

If you've ever received a pot of tulips as a gift, you might have experienced two emotions: excitement at the beauty of the flowers and disappointment that they would eventually die. Although tulips cannot be transplanted in bloom, you can transplant the tulip bulbs after the blooming cycle. The first year after a transplant, the bulbs will produce leaves but may not bloom, but by the second year, the bulbs should produce blooms like they did when in the pot.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Potting soil
  • Mulch
  • Fertiliser

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  1. 1

    Water the plant sparingly after the initial blooms are gone and let the leaves turn yellow. This means the leaves have ripened.

  2. 2

    Remove the bulbs along with the soil from the container. Turn the container on its side and tap the bottom until the soil comes loose, and you can pour the contents out of the container. Remove the bulbs from the soil and cut off the leaves with scissors.

  3. 3

    Plant the bulbs in an area prepared with potting soil and mulch. The area should have good drainage and get full sun exposure. Plant the bulbs 3 to 4 times deeper than the height of the bulb. Water the bulbs well after planting.

  4. 4

    Fertilise the bulbs when the leaves break the ground the following spring.

Tips and warnings

  • If you live in colder climates, remember to cover spring bulbs to prevent them from freezing.
  • Transplanting bulbs also works for daffodils, hyacinths, iris and crocus.

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