How to Store Flowers

Overview

Flowering plants add color to beds, borders and containers. Perennial flowers either grow from a root structure such as a bulb or rhizome, or from seeds. Annual flowers are grown from seeds. If you can't plant them right away, the flowers must be stored until the proper planting time. Some tender perennials must be stored each year during the winter months. Proper storage ensures the seeds or roots don't rot or lose viability, so they will quickly grow and begin flower production.

Root and Bulb Storage

Step 1

Dig up tender bulbs in autumn once the foliage begins to die back on its own. Dig around the root structure, then slide the trowel under it and lift it out of the ground gently so the roots do not break.

Step 2

Inspect the roots or bulbs for signs of damage, such as soft spots or shriveled areas. Cut off these areas and dispose of them.

Step 3

Spread the roots and bulbs out in a single layer on newspaper or paper towels. Place in a warm room away from direct sunlight to dry for up to one week.

Step 4

Dust the bulbs and roots with a fungicide powder formulated for the specific plant type. This prevents damage during storage.

Step 5

Fill a paper bag or small box with dry peat moss. Bury the bulbs and roots in the peat moss and store in a cool, dry room until replanting. Replant tender bulbs in spring and hardy bulbs in fall.

Flower Seed Storage

Step 1

Place seeds in a paper bag or jar. Fold over the top of the bag to seal, or screw the lid on the jar.

Step 2

Mark the bag or jar with the seed variety and the year purchased. Also indicate any special information such as flower color or length of seed viability, if known.

Step 3

Keep the seeds in a cool, dry place until ready to replant. Most seeds remain viable for up to three years, while those with hard seed coats may remain viable for 10 years or more when stored properly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Roots and bulbs may begin rotting in storage. Check them every two months and remove any with signs of rot to prevent it from spreading to the healthy bulbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand garden shovel
  • Trowel
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper or paper towel
  • Fungicide powder
  • Paper bag or small box
  • Peat moss
  • Jar
  • Permanent marker
  • Silica desiccant

References

  • University of Minnesota Extension
  • Colorado State University Extension
Keywords: storing flowers, storing seeds, flower bulb and root storage

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.