Storing Bulbs Before Planting
One of the basic rules of bulbs storage is to keep them dry and cool, which helps prevent bulbs from sprouting before you plant. How cold? Make sure your bulbs don’t freeze – This means if you’re still having freezing nights in your area, you won’t want to store them in an unheated garage or shed.
To prevent bulbs from getting too hot, make sure to keep them away from the furnace, out of bright sunlight, not on top of the refrigerator or any other place that can get hot in your home. Ideal storage places in the home include a basement, closet or utility room that stays cool but above freezing.
- Lilies must be stored below 45 degrees, or they will probably sprout before planting. If they do, treat the sprouts gingerly. If you break them off, your bulbs won’t bloom.
- Dahlias and Gladiolus can stand a bit higher temperatures. They should be stored anywhere between 40 and about 62 degrees; the lower the better.
- Canna Lilies like to be stored around 50 degrees, and should never dry out.
- Calla Lilies and Elephant Ears like it warmer, between 60 and 70 degrees.
The goal is to keep the bulbs from sprouting before putting them in the ground. However, if your bulbs do sprout, simply be extra gentle with the sprouted bulbs, making sure not to damage or break off the sprout. That sprout could be the bulb’s only chance at growth and producing a flower.
As soon as you’re able to plant, bring the bulbs outsideplant them in the ground or in containers, according to the growing instructions.