How to store flower bulbs
How you store your bulbs is as important as how you grow them. Looking after your bulbs while they’re dormant is actually quite easy, but many an uninformed gardener has lost their prize bulbs owing to incorrect storage practices.

Lifting bulbs
Once your bulbs have bloomed. It’s best to let them go dormant by themselves. The nutrients in the leaves are transferred to the bulbs, providing energy for next season’s growth. Lifting bulbs too early is a common mistake. Once you’ve lifted your bulbs, shake off all the soil. You can use a soft brush to dust off any clinging bits of soil. A light coating of powder fungicide is optional, but reduces the chances of rot setting in. Remember to wear gloves if you choose to treat your bulbs with fungicide!

Choose the right containers
Most bulbs prefer dry, airy storage conditions, so storing them in plastic bags is a bad idea. Paper bags, or better yet, well-ventilated storage crates are the best choice. If you have a lot of bulbs to store, be careful not to layer them too deeply. Two to three layers is the maximum density at which they can be packed. Good ventilation is the key to preventing rot.

Bulb Specifics
The precise storage conditions for bulbs differ from species to species. For example: You can store your tulip bulbs in any well ventilated spot that isn’t too damp, but they will need six to eight weeks of chilling before planting. Pop them in the fridge for the last weeks before planting. Lily bulbs break all the rules. They dehydrate easily. You don’t want to keep them soaking wet, but some moisture is needed during storage. Use a lightly damp potting mix or sphagnum moss to wrap them during storage and mist them with a spray bottle if the mix you’re storing them in gets too dry.

Check your bulbs while they’re ‘sleeping’
If one of your bulbs starts to decay, the rot will spread quickly. Check your bulbs often and throw away any bulbs that have begun to rot. A weekly inspection should be ideal in most cases.

Enjoy them year after year
Don’t forget to mark the planting date for your bulbs in your calendar. You can also set a reminder on your phone to make sure that you don’t forget planting time. Find out if your bulbs really need lifting. If they’ll be happy in the soil all year round, it’s best to leave them there!

Storing Flower Bulbs