Propagation by Division: Bulbs

Garden Nut By Garden Nut, 23rd Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Propagation

Many flowering plants which are planted from bulbs, corms and tubers will cease flowering if their growing area becomes too crowded. Simple division allows blooms to return and produces new plants for your landscape!

Signs that your Bulbs need Dividing

If you have noticed that your bulb grown flowers have not provided their usual display this summer, they may be in need of division. Most flowers that grow from bulbs, corms and tubers require separation every few years to maintain their spring or summer shows in the landscape.

The great news about dividing your bulbs is that you will have many more to plant in different locations in your landscape. Planting the same specimen in different areas of the garden gives a sense of continuity to your design.

Which Flowers Grow from Bulbs?

Lilies, Gladioli, Daffodils and many other specimens grow from bulbs. Part of the underground process for them is producing new bulbs (bulblets). When this production has taken all the space that is available to them, they no longer receive the energy necessary to flower.

How to Divide

Most bulb separation is best done in autumn, which is the appropriate time to replant your bulblets. Dig an area , starting a few inches from the site where plants no longer produce flowers, Foliage should be yellowed by this time and may be clipped back by two thirds.The foliage will give you a general idea of the area in which to dig.

Place your round nosed shovel down about 8 inches and under the area. When you lift the scoop of soil, you should see large bulbs with smaller ones attached. Detach the smaller bulbs with sharp pruners and pot in already prepared ground or in pots (be sure to label).

Plant a few of the bulbs in the dug out area if you wish to have blooms there again. Before planting, mix well-composted material in the holes to encourage good drainage and give your bulblets a good nutritional start.

When to Expect Blooms

The large bulbs should provide blossoms at the appropriate time next year. Bulblets may take two or three years to produce flowers. It is a good idea to mark the area in which you plant them, so they will not be disturbed by accidentally placing other new plant material in their space.

However, companion plantings may be included near the newly planted bulbs to provide flowering specimens while you are waiting on the bulblets to develop.


Bulb Division, Bulblets, Continuity In The Landscape, Flowering Stops, New Displays

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author avatar Garden Nut
Avid gardener, specializing in unusual and tropical blooms and their organic care and propagation.

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