I have a bunch of tulips planted in the shade on the side of my house. They hardly ever bloom and if they do it is usually one or two out of about 50 flowers. I was thinking I should move them and group them in the middle of the yard in a big circle where they can get more light. Would this help the flowers bloom, or would this kill the lot?
Wanting to move some Tulip Bulbs?
DO NOT move those tulips until late summer or early fall. Tulips should be moved at the same time they are planted, and they should be planted late enough in the fall that they don't try to grow right away above the ground, but have time to establish good roots for the next year's growth from the bulb. I like your idea of a big circle in the middle of the yard, but do 'interplant' so that there will be flowers and green there after the tulips bloom or you'll have a big brown circle in the middle of your lawn after the tulips are done blooming. I also suggest that you throw all of those old tulips away and go buy new bulbs ... a tulip bulb is 'good' for only about four or five years and then they start to go 'downhill' ... which may be another reason your tulips aren't blooming well in their 'shady' spot.
Reply:It's too late to move tulips right now, wait til the season is over and the tops have died back, then dig them up and move them.
Don't expect great results by moving them. The tulip growers pump their bulbs up with all sorts of nutrients, so your flower displays will usually diminish each year as the bulbs get weaker from inexpert care (unless you are lucky enough to live in an area where tulips naturally thrive). Because tulips are so cheap, I plant new ones for abundant displays out front, and put all old bulbs in the side or back yard where I just let them do their thing and pick them for cut flowers.
Reply:Wait till the foliage has died down, then dig them up and replant them. It is a good idea to give them a few months out of the ground in a cool dry place before you replant. the best time to replant is in the fall.
Because the bulbs will be maturing in the shade this year, don't expect many flowers next spring, but once they have spent a season in the sun, they will develop many more flowers.
Reply:They definitely need sun to bloom. Move them in their dormant season, which is about September or after they have bloomed and leave the foliage on for at least six weeks before moving them. You can wait until the end of summer to do this.