Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
How do I store my summer bulbs?
Rate This FAQ
Summer bulbs are planted in the spring, bloom in the summer and should be removed in the fall before it freezes. If they stay in the ground during winter, most will eventually die. These bulbs include tuberous begonias, cannas, dahlias and gladiolus.
Tuberous begonias are probably the weakest of the bulb group and must be dug and stored before the first frost. They start shivering in mid-September, and demand a blanket at the first hint of cooler temperatures. Gradually reduce their water, which will slow their growth and begin the hardening process. After the foliage has turned yellow, the stems should remove easily. If not, give them a few more days and the stems will eventually fall off on their own. Next, carefully dig the tubers and let them dry for several weeks in a warm location before putting them away for winter storage. Dahlias are a little hardier than begonias. Again, get them out of the ground and into the house before the first real frost. Freezing temperatures turn them black. Dahlias can be treated much like begonias, except their stalks refuse to detach on their own. Cut the stalk back to about 4 inches, remove the bulbs from the ground and let them dry. Do not worry about soil that clings to the bulbs. Gladiolas should be cut back to about 2 inches of stem, then left in the ground a few days to dry and harden off before being dug from the ground. Once they are out of the ground, treat them the same as dahlias. Cannas are the toughest bulb of this group. In fact, in protected areas such as next to a brick wall, fence or other heat-absorbing areas, they can stay put all winter. However, to ensure their survival, dig them up after the first frost has damaged their leaves and stems. Then cut them back, let them dry and they are ready for storage. To store summer bulbs, place them in a cool, dry location such as a storage room or cool basement. Optimal storage temperature is between 45 and 50 F. (Make sure they do not freeze.) Place dried bulbs in peat moss, vermiculite, sawdust or shredded paper in a ventilated box, then place a bowl of water with them to increase the humidity around the bulbs.
When properly stored, summer bulbs should be fine through the winter, but it is a good idea to check them occasionally to see how they are faring. With any luck at all, they will sleep through winter and be ready to beautify the garden next spring.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- We have been putting the dog poop in the composte pile. Is this going to be bad for our composte or for our garden?
- When is the best time for transplanting Mint. I have some that is in a bad location and I need to move it.
- What is the best way to get rid of morning glory in my lawn and garden?
- I live in Lindon and have heavy clay soil. I have been adding leaves and grass to my garden soil and it still compacts rapidly. Can I use the compost from the green and public waste dept. on a vegetable garden?
- I have cucumber plants that I started growing from seeds in march of this year. I replanted about 2 weeks ago into a 20 gallon tub. I put the plant in a back room where the sun comes in alot, it started growing really well then i put the plant out side during the day and bring it in at night. Since then the leaves have started turning brown on the edges and it doesn't look very good. I have a tomato plant also and it is doing just fine, its very green and getting bigger by the minute. Do you have any suggestions for me?
- How do I get rid of morning glory?
- I'm wondering if there is a variety of Almond tree that grows well in Davis county. And, are they self-fertile? Can they be grown near nectarines? (I've read that they shouldn't be grown near peaches as they can develop a bitter taste.)
- I would like to know the cost of nematodes for flower gardens and where I might be able to purchase some or have some mailed to me here in Farmington. Is there somewhere along the Wasatch Front I can purchase this type of nematodes?