Can tulips be divided? If so, when and how do I do it?
The sad truth is, tulips are not a truly dependable perennial in Michigan. Our springs are often too brief, starting late and becoming summer almost overnight. If summer comes on quickly, the foliage may die down before it has time to replenish the spent food reserves. The result is a smaller bulb (than the one you originally planted) that survives to the following spring. Tulip beds in Michigan produce their best show in the spring following fall planting. Each successive year produces fewer and smaller flowers. Tulip division becomes a moot point.
Another alternative is to plant early-blooming tulips so the foliage can remain longer, thus re-energizing the bulb sufficiently. Or, you can simply treat tulips as an annual, replacing the beds with top-size bulbs the following fall. Keep in mind that other spring-flowering bulbs are more dependable perennials for our area. Daffodils (Narcissus) will return year after year, and multiply in the process.