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How to Store Unplanted Spring Bulbs

Spring bulbs are classified as those bulbs that bloom in the spring. Examples include daffodils, tulips, crocuses and snowdrops. Spring bulbs are typically planted in the fall and will usually bloom the first spring; however they can be planted at anytime. In fact, spring bulbs should be planted soon after you get them. However, if you cannot plant them right away or if you obtained your spring bulbs after the ground is frozen, you will need to store the unplanted bulbs until you can get them in the ground.

Place the unplanted bulbs in a box with some moist peat moss. You can also use a paper bag or mesh bag instead. Add a few handfuls of slightly moist peat moss and mix it in with the unplanted bulbs so that they do not dry out during storage. Air flow is important, so do not seal or close the container.

Move the bulbs to a cool (50 to 60 F), dry and dark location. The garage, attic or crawl space may be the perfect storage area.

Check on your bulbs every few weeks. This is essential to keep your bulbs healthy. Spray some water onto the peat moss if it is dry. If some of the bulbs have rotted, you will need to throw them out and you may need to check on your bulbs more often to avoid it from happening again. Continue to check on your bulbs until the fall when you can plant them.

Purple Spring Bulbs

Hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis) are perennials that grow from bulbs in early- to mid-spring, reaching a height of about 8 inches. Hyacinths do well in well-drained, loamy soil in a spot that receives at least several hours of sun each day. Alliums are ornamental members of the onion family that grow from bulbs at various times in the spring, depending on the variety. Some are called drumstick alliums because their round, globular flowers, which appear singly at the end of a tall, erect stem. Tulips (Tulipa) come in hundreds of colors and flower types. Some have striped petals or petals with fringed edges and most forms are available in purple hues, including a variety called "Passionate" and another called "Royal Purple." The genus Muscari contains about 40 species of bulbs native to the Mediterranean region. Many of the cultivated varieties produce deep purple flowers in early spring.


Remember that is best to plant spring bulbs soon after you obtain them, so try to purchase them in the fall, during their ideal planting time.

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