How to Keep Tulip Bulbs Indoors Over Winter


Sometimes winter comes on a little too fast, leaving you with a frozen garden and unplanted tulip bulbs. Or maybe you divided your bulbs in the fall and haven't decided where to plant the new bulbs. Whatever the reason, if you missed your chance to plant your bulbs in the fall, rest assured you can keep them indoors over the winter. With the right care, they will be ready for planting---and blooming---in the spring.

Step 1

Remove the bulbs from any containers or plastic bags. These materials cannot "breathe" and can promote rot during storage.

Step 2

Clean the bulbs by gently brushing off the excess dirt. Do not wash the bulbs, however, as this can cause rot.

Step 3

Store the bulbs in a cardboard box with a layer of newspaper between each layer of bulbs. Spread out the bulbs so they are not touching.

Step 4

Choose a cool, dry location to store your bulbs for the winter. A closet or a dry basement are good choices.

Step 5

Cold stratify, or chill, spring-blooming bulbs, which need six to eight weeks of cold in order to bloom. Stratification mimics winter's conditions. You can store the bulbs in a cold garage or in the refrigerator.

Step 6

Plant your bulbs as soon as the ground thaws in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Tulip bulbs
  • Cardboard box
  • Newspaper
  • Refrigerator


  • Gardening Know How: Preparing Bulbs for the Winter
Keywords: keep tulip bulbs indoors over winter, cold stratify, dry location, cardboard box

About this Author

Elizabeth Knoll has been writing full-time since 2008. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Her work appears on eHow, eHow Home and Garden, GardenGuides and Answerbag. Knoll received a certificate in Early Childhood Education from Moraine Park Technical College.

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