How to replant hyacinth bulbs

Updated November 21, 2016

It is occasionally necessary to dig up and replant hyacinth bulbs. One of the most common reasons hyacinth is dug and replanted is so that the bulb can be divided for propagation. Other reasons to move them is because their location is not ideal, and you want to move them to a better spot, or because you are moving, and want to take the bulbs with you. No matter why you are digging and replanting the hyacinth it is important that you do it properly so that the bulbs are not damaged, and will bloom the following spring.

Dig up hyacinth bulbs in the late summer or fall, after the foliage has started to turn yellow. Use a hand trowel to dig up bulbs.

Inspect the bulbs for signs of disease, any bulbs that look diseased or damaged should be discarded. Bulbs that are good for replanting should be large, firm and free of spots or discolouration.

Wrap the bulbs in moist burlap and transport them promptly to the new planting site.

Clear the planting area of grass and weeds so that the bulbs you are transplanting will not have to compete for nutrients and moisture.

Loosen the soil in the area you intend to plant it. Work the soil to a depth of 12 inches, and remove large roots or rocks that are turned up.

Layer about 2 inches of peat moss on top of the soil, and then gently work it in to 12 inch deep soil you have worked up.

Create a hole about 6 inches deep. Place an inch of soil in the bottom of your hole to reduce the risk of your bulbs developing root rot, and provide the soil with better drainage.

Place your bulbs in the soil. They should be about 5 inches deep. Allow at least 3 inches between bulbs. Firm the soil over your bulbs by hand.

Water the whole planting area. You should water the soil so that the water soaks in instead of running off, and so that the soil is moist to a depth of about 6 inches. Watering the soil over the bulbs will help the soil settle around the bulb, eliminating air pockets.

Cover the bulb bed with 2 to 3 inches of mulch. This will both assist the soil in maintaining moisture levels and protect the bulbs from harsh winter temperatures and extreme temperature fluctuations.


Digging bulbs too early can cause serious damage, and make it harder for them to survive transplanting.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand trowel
  • Shovel
  • Sand
  • Peat
  • Water
  • Burlap
  • Mulch
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About the Author

Misty Barton has been working in the fields of composition and journalism for over 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in English education and a Master of Arts in English and composition. She has written for various online publications including a blog that specifically addresses the concerns of work-at-home mothers.