As winter quickly approaches, you may be wondering how to store flower bulbs so that you can protect them from a harsh frost and freezing temperatures.
In order to keep the plants growing year after year without needing to go buy more, you can store them over winter to ensure that they don’t die.
Tips For Storing Flower Bulbs
You’ll know it’s time to pull the bulbs when the temperatures dip to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. When this occurs, the ends and leaves of your plants will start to turn brown.
When you want to pull the bulbs, you’ll need to dig around the plant. It’s essential that you’re careful you don’t cut the bulbs as you’re digging. Be sure to lift the clump of roots out of the ground and remove as much excess soil as possible. You should then move the root clumps to a dry, cool spot for about a week.
If you just bought new bulbs and they haven’t been planted in the ground yet, be sure to remove any plastic bags or containers they may be in. Your bulbs need to be able to breathe while they’re in storage and a material like plastic will cause them to rot over the course of winter.
After you’ve given the clumps time to dry, you’ll be able to remove any remaining dirt. You should then have vermiculite or dry peat moss in a cardboard box in which you’ll place the roots. The peat moss helps to slow down the loss of moisture from the roots and will prevent them from shriveling throughout winter. Remember to never store the boxes of bulbs in a room where the temperature will drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that it isn’t too warm, however, because this can cause the roots to sprout in the middle of winter.
When you have bulbs that bloom in the spring, you should keep in mind that they’ll need at least six to eight weeks of cold in order to bloom. If you can, place the bulbs in a refrigerator – whether in your home or in an extra fridge in the garage or basement. Then, as soon as the ground thaws in the spring, you’ll be able to plant them and see them blossom in no time.
Don’t forget to occasionally check on your bulbs to ensure that they’re still OK. When you’re storing garden bulbs over the winter, try to check them once a month. You can gently squeeze each one and throw away any that are mushy.