Storing Bulbs

If you look closely at the picture, you will see I made a mistake. I was wrong in the placement of some of the bulbs. There's no real harm done at this point because I have time to correct my mistake.


Whether you store bulbs in a box of dry sand, Perlite, or other medium, or whether you hang them in a material that permits good passage of air, always be sure to position the bulbs upside down.

Keeping the tops of the bulbs facing downward signals the bulbs to stay asleep. By staying in a deeper state of dormancy, they are less likely to start sprouting before it's time to set them in the ground.

Sprouting too early can interrupt the bloom cycle, or when planted, the sprouts may rot and destroy the bulb.

These bulbs have about four more weeks in storage. I will re-position the upright bulbs and re-hang the lot. All should be well come mid April when I set them out. My Hymenocallis narcissiflora or H. festalis, which ever they are, should be filling the air with a delicious and unique scent come late summer.

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October 22, 2005

I store my bulbs (and various other flower seeds) in the drawers of an old dresser in the basement. It's provides plenty of cool, dark space, and keeps things not-too-dry and not-too-moist (and quite tidy).

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9 Questions

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October 13, 2016

How can I save my iris that I have dug up and do not want to replant until next spring?


February 1, 20170 found this helpful

First make sure they are dried. The place in a dark, cool place. Then coat them in powdered sulfur, which serves as anti fungal. "The last step in storing iris rhizomes is to wrap each rhizome in a piece of newspaper and place in a box. Put the box in a cool, dry place. Every few weeks, check on the iris rhizomes to make sure that rot has not set in. If the iris rhizomes start to rot, they will feel soft and mushy instead of firm"

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February 4, 20170 found this helpful

I store my plants in individual paper bags in my basement, where it is cool and dry.

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I have received bulbs and rhizomes that I can't get planted this year, how can I store them for next year? They are irises and gladiolas. It gets below zero here in western Colorado.

By Kim from Crawford, CO


August 6, 20110 found this helpful

I live in Minnesota and have lots of iris and you can plant iris now and they will grow in spring. But not Glads have to be dug each fall and stored in a dry, cool place and replanted in spring.

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March 21, 2010

Does anyone know if you can freeze tulip bulbs until you are ready to plant them in the fall?

Hardiness Zone: 6b

By Linda D Evans


March 22, 20100 found this helpful

Spread the tulip bulbs on a layer of newspapers to dry. Step 2Spread a layer of vermiculite, dry sand or peat moss in the bottom of a flat tray or container without a lid.

Step 3Place the dry tulip bulbs in the container. Make sure they have air circulation and that they are only one layer thick.

Step 4Put the tray or container of bulbs in a dark, cool place that has low humidity and plenty of ventilation. Too much humidity will cause the bulbs to rot. A garage is a good place if the temperature remains cool but doesn't drop below freezing. Good luck.

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November 6, 2013

I'm a gardener in Oman where the summer temperatures are over 40 degrees C (104 F) and this is from May up to September. Our gardening season starts in October and continues to April. I would like to know how to store my geranium plants and also my dahlia tubers. Previously I haven't had success in storing dahlia tubers.

By mrsikmal55

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May 8, 2012

How do I keep tulip bulbs for planting next year?

By Wanda

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November 3, 2016

This is a page about digging up and storing tender bulbs. While some plants that grow from bulbs, corms, or tubers do well in colder zones during the spring and summer, they may need to be overwintered to save them for next year.

Some bulbs being stored for spring.

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February 22, 2013

This is a page about storing spring flowering bulbs. Bulbs can be left in the ground year after year, but some gardeners prefer to dig them up after flowering and store for the next season.

Spring Flowering Bulbs

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