Storing tender bulbs for winter | Living the Country Life

Storing tender bulbs for winter

Dig up your tender bulbs and store them for the winter. You can bring them back to life next spring!

When the frost comes, the growing season for your tender bulbs comes to an end. If you live in Zone 6 or lower, it's important to dig and store any cannas, callas, caladiums, dahlias, tuberous begonias, gladioluses, and tuberoses before the ground freezes.

As you dig, be careful not to slice into the bulbs. Chances are, they're a bit larger than they were when you planted them last spring. Lift the clump of roots carefully from the ground and knock off as much soil as possible.

Put the clumps in a dry, cool spot, where they won't freeze. A basement, cellar, or garage with a constant temperature of about 45 degrees F. would be ideal. Make sure to label them, because come spring, it will be impossible to determine which tulip bulbs are red and which are yellow.

Once the clump of bulbs has dried for a week, gently remove as much of the remaining dirt as possible. Place them in dry peat moss or vermiculite in a cardboard box. This will slow the loss of moisture from the roots to keep them from shriveling. If you plan to divide the clumps, wait until spring, when you take the bulbs out of storage.

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