Tag Archives: Dark

How to Store Bulbs – Tulips, Daffodils, Dark, Dry, Cool Conditions

Bulbs are dormant when they have died back to nothing more than the brown, dried, fat root. That root has all of the nutrition that it will need for the next year’s successful bloom.  It is important to keep bulbs cool and in dark, dry conditions until they are planted, whether they have been dug out of the ground after dying back or are fresh and new from the grower or supplier.

Some bulbs need to be chilled before planting in warm weather climates, like most of California and in the southern states.  Tulips need chilling for about 6-8 weeks or longer if that is most convenient.  I have planted tulips bulbs that have been left over and with almost 14 weeks of refrigeration and they have bloomed nicely.  On one occasion, I planted some Darwin Hybrid tulips on April 1 after 22 weeks of chlling and they bloomed 2 weeks later with no roots!

Freesia, hyacinth, saffron crocus, and lilies need refrigeration if they are not planted after receiving them to keep them from beginning to keep the roots from beginning to grow. Daffodils do not need chilling but they do need to be kept in dark, dry storage as in a garage until time to plant.  Other bulbs like giant scilla, lycoris, ranunculous, anamones and other warm weather bulbs and corms just need cool, dry, dark conditions.