Spring bulbs to lift and divide

Spring bulbs to lift and divide

Boost the colour from spring bulbs in your garden by dividing them after flowering.

Many spring bulbs benefit from being lifted and divided after flowering.

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Winter aconites, for example, are invisible for much of the year, so are far easier to lift while you can still see them. Snowdrops are also best planted ‘in the green’, straight after flowering.

Read on to discover four spring bulbs to lift and divide when the flowers start to fade.

Snowdrops are also best planted 'in the green', straight after flowering.

Crocus

In warm, sunny parts of the garden and in containers, crocus can bulk up over two to three years. You can then lift and divide the corms up to six weeks after flowering has finished. Replant them immediately in a position in full sun or part shade.

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Daffodils

Where planted deeply, daffodils thrive and become congested after four or five years, then stop flowering. Dig down carefully to one side of each clump, avoiding slicing off the foliage above the bulb. Replant at least 18cm deep, improving the soil with compost.

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Grape hyacinth

In some conditions, the common blue form of grape hyacinth can become a weed unless lifted and thinned out every year or two. Lift with a spade when the flowers start to fade and lever the dense clumps apart. Replant a minimum of 10cm deep, in sun or part shade.

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Winter aconite

With their small, shrivelled tubers, winter aconites can be tricky to distinguish from soil during dormancy in summer and autumn. Lift and divide large clumps while ‘in the green’, levering them up with a fork and replant in soil improved with leaf mould or garden compost.

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Don’t worry if you don’t have garden and so have no bulbs to divide – it’s easy to layer spring bulbs in a pot or container and is ideal for balconies and small gardens.