How to Store Flower Bulbs

You'’ve decided to store flower bulbs and you’re looking for the right way to do this.

Here are guidelines for storing the most common of bulbs, if you don’t see yours listed here, feel free to ask.

There are general guidelines to follow to store flower bulbs

1)The first is that if you store a bulb in damp peat moss or some other medium, it will rot. Rotting bulbs really stink so let’s avoid this. Exceptions to this are noted below.

2)The second is that you have to keep them cool (unless stated below). Keeping them warm will lead to rot or excessive drying out which is the same thing as dead. They should be in a well-ventilated area or you’ll see fungal problems develop.

Specific Bulb Recommendations

Canna; Dig up the rhizomes in the fall, right before or immediately after frost has hit. Let sit in bright sunny room to dry until soil is dry and then clean off dead foliage. Ideally store them in dry peat moss or vermiculite keeping them at 45ºF. storing bulbs

Crinum are one of the exceptions. Store the bulbs in slightly damp sand or peat at 40-45°F. If you are growing these as houseplants, they still require a resting period. Leave in the pot, keep slightly damp but put in a cool room with night temperatures of 50-55F.

Crocosmia; Store the corms in dry peat or vermiculite at 40°F. If zone 5 or warmer, you can leave in the ground and mulch heavily.

Dahlia; Harvest the roots immediately after frost and cut off old stems. Let sit until dirt is dry on tuber and then store in dry material such as peat or vermiculite. Many folks just put them in old sacks or on shelves in cool basements. Hot basements kill them by drying them out. Needs 40-45°F

Eucomis; Store bulbs dry at 55-65°F

Freesia; Store corms or potted plants very dry at 75-80°F. Note that this is one of the few warm and dry storage bulbs.

Galtonia; Store flower bulbs dry at 60-65°F. I used to leave some species Galtonia in the garden under six inches of mulch in zone 4 and they lived. Hybrids might be more tender.

Gladiolus; Right after the foliage is killed by frost, dig up the corms. Store them dry but with excellent ventilation at 40-50°F. Excessive moisture will quickly rot this bulb so check several times a winter and remove any bulbs that are soft.

Liatris; You can store corms in moist peat at 35°F but it is much easier to leave them in the ground where they are usually a hardy perennial.

Lily; You can store them indoors in moist peat moss at 35°F but it is far easier to leave them in the ground. Why go to all that extra work?

Nerine; Treat like glads, store them dry with good ventilation at 35°F.

Ornithogalum; The hardy ones stay in the garden, the tender species should be stored dry at warm at 70-80°F.

Oxalis, as with Ornithogalum, the hardier ones stay outdoors while the tender ones are dug up and the rhizomes or bulbs are stored dry in peat or vermiculite at 35-40°F

Ranunculus; Store those tuberous roots quite dry at 50-55°F.

Zantedeschia (Calla Lilies); Store the rhizomes or tubers quite dry at 50-60°F. Make sure they are not damaged at all or they are quick to rot. You can try cutting away damaged areas with a sharp knife and then dusting sulphur on wound to stop rot.

Zephyranthes; Store the bulbs in dry peat or vermiculite at 50-60°F.

And that's the specifics of how you store flower bulbs.

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