How to divide bulbs properly

Divide bulb flowers to give a beautiful garden

Bulbs are so attractive that gardeners wanted them to divide them to produce new growth and share with near and dear ones. They might also wanted to plant in different areas of the landscape.

Additionally, many bulb flowers overgrow themselves that reduce the growth. Dividing the bulbs is the best way to get things back under control. It is usually easy to tell when a planting of bulbs needs to be divided. One unquestionable sign up to that time are well blooming planting of bulbs has started to provide only scant blooms. Most of the times the culprit is overcrowding, and the solution is to divide them. One must know how to divide bulbs properly and allow the remaining bulbs to bloom in a nice way.

The technique how to divide bulbs depend on the exact type of bulb to be divided. Broadly, there are five different types of bulb flowers – true bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes and tuberous roots.

The techniques for dividing each type of bulbs vary from each other. So it is important to know which type of bulb you are working with. Any good gardening guide will tell you which type of bulb you have. You may find that information when you buy the bulbs plants/seeds.

True bulbs

To divide a true bulb, you should begin by carefully sorting out the original bulb from the smaller bulb growing at its base. When dividing lily bulbs, you should be very careful to first remove the outer scales from the basal plate. After the outer scales are removed, the ends of the bulb should be plunged in a rooting hormone, and the bulb should be planted straightway.


Corms are not true bulbs, and they renew their growth from end to end of the production of a new corm, and at times also small cormels growing on top of the original corm. To divide corms, the gardener should just separate the healthy new corms, with any cormels, from the original corms.


When tubers mature, it increases both the size and the number of growing points. However, many of the tubers do not form distinct increases. A large tuber should be cut into two or more sections in order to divide them. You should make sure that each section has at least one growing point.


The new growth on rhizomes is initiated from the sides which has the growth points. They are divided by breaking the sections apart at regular divisions between them. Like tubers, make sure that every new divisions has at least one growth point on it.

Tuberous roots

A tuberous root contains several growing points. Day lily form separate and distinct plants, which can just be pulled apart. This type of sectioning is usually while the plant is in its growing stage. The best time would be in fall or summer. Dahlias, another tuberous root plants, are more difficult to separate. To separate them, you will need to cut the clumps apart so each root has a growth bud. With these types of plants, it is best to separate them in early spring just before planting.

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