How to Store Tulip Bulbs Until Fall

Overview

Storing tulip bulbs through the summer until fall planting helps keep the bulbs in optimum health. Lifting the bulbs after the spring flowering and foliage die-back helps prevent rodents such as squirrels from consuming the dormant bulbs. It also helps prevent the bulbs from contracting rot or fungal infections. Many people also store newly purchased bulbs until fall planting. Storing bulbs often becomes a necessity if tulip bulbs are to be transplanted and divided in the fall.

Step 1

Dig up the tulip bulbs gently using a hand trowel. Shake the dirt from the bulbs. Check them closely for rot or deformity. If the bulb is unhealthy, promptly discard it.

Step 2

Place tulip bulbs into a basket or paper bag. Sprinkle peat moss, dry sand or vermiculite around the bulbs.

Step 3

Store bulbs in a cool, dark place such as a cellar. Alternatively, place tulip bulbs in the vegetable crisper of a refrigerator for storage. Don't store apples or grapes in the refrigerator with the tulips because the fruits produce the gas ethylene, which will cause the bulbs to become distorted.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss, dry sand or vermiculite
  • Paper bags
  • Basket
  • Refrigerator
  • Hand trowel

References

  • University of Illinois: Bulbs and More Planting and Care
  • Dutch Growers: Planting Tulips & Other Spring Flowering Bulbs
  • Ohio State University: Growing Hardy Bulbs
  • Plant Care: Storing Tulip Bulbs

Who Can Help

  • Clemson University: Spring Flowering Bulbs
Keywords: storing tulip bulbs, keeping tulip bulbs, tulip bulb care

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.