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Keeping bulbs for winter season is super simple, and a great method to keep your favorite summer blooming bulbs year after year. In this post, I’ll reveal you when and how to collect bulbs, and provide you detailed directions for how to keep bulbs over the winter season.

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Tropical plants include fantastic, lush foliage and bright vibrant blossoms to summertime landscape. In cold climates, it prevails to grow tropical plants as annuals that will pass away over the winter season, and be replaced every spring.

But a number of these tropical plants form corms, tubers or bulbs (frequently described as bulbs) that can be grown every year by overwintering indoors. With a bit of grunt work, and a percentage of storage space, you can quickly overwinter tender bulbs.

You will be able to keep plants that you enjoy without worrying about having a warm window to put them in, or battling pest problems during the winter. It’s a huge money saver too!


Here’s a small list of typical tropical plants that have bulbs, corms or tubers which can be overwintered inside your home.

Canna lily
Spider lily bulbs
Voodoo lily
Elephant ear
Crinum lily
Tuberous Begonias (not all begonias are tuberous).
Calla lilies.
Sweet potato vine.


The very best time to dig up tropical bulbs for overwintering indoors remains in the fall after the very first few frosts have actually turned the leaves brown. This will trigger the plants to go dormant naturally. You can collect tender bulbs any time that is hassle-free to you, however you should do it before the ground freezes.

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I like to wait until a few hard frosts have eliminated the foliage before I dig up my tender bulbs. You can cut the foliage down to the ground prior to digging up the bulbs, or you can wait until after you’ve collected and cleaned the bulbs to remove the foliage.

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I choose to cut most of the foliage off prior to I dig the bulbs, leaving enough of the stalk to utilize as a manage if possible. To prevent damaging the bulbs, begin digging a number of inches far from the stems of the plants.

Dig around the entire root ball to loosen it up, and then raise it out of the ground. As you collect the bulbs, make sure that you keep track of what is what (unless you like surprises).

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Carefully relax the clump of bulbs, removing as much dirt as possible. Cutting off securely bundled roots will help with this procedure. You don’t need to cut off all the roots though.

The objective is to loosen up the roots, get rid of the bulk of the dirt, and different private bulbs as much as possible. Tender bulbs might be overwintered as one big clump, however splitting them apart assists prevent decaying.

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As you separate the bulbs from the clump, inspect every one and dispose of any that have signs of rot. Healthy bulbs are firm, not mushy. Get rid of the staying foliage prior to storing bulbs for winter season.

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To minimize the opportunity of your tender bulbs rotting or growing musty over the winter season, allow the bulbs to cure (dry out) for a number of hours or days before overwintering indoors.

To do this, I lay paper on the garage flooring and then spread my tender bulbs out on the paper. The bigger the bulb, the longer it must cure. One or two days for small bulbs, three to five days for big bulbs.

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When the tender bulbs have treated, it’s time to pack them up. I utilize cardboard boxes so they are easy to stack in a corner in the basement, however you might utilize paper bags too. I would not recommend using any kind of plastic container for overwintering tender bulbs, unless it is well ventilated.

You can wrap each bulb in paper, or you can load them in peat moss, coco coir, wood chips (family pet bedding works great) or saw dust. Alternatively, you could use a mix of vermiculite and perlite for keeping bulbs. Whatever medium you choose to use to keep your tender bulbs, make sure it is relatively dry before loading.

To prevent rot from spreading out between bulbs, attempt to pack them so that the bulbs aren’t touching each other. Continue to load the bulbs between layers of packing medium until package is complete.

Do not forget to identify them so you know what you have come spring.

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Store tender bulbs in a cool (above freezing) and dark location. You can inspect them regularly during the winter season to make certain there aren’t any indications of mold or rot, and ensure they aren’t drying out.

Storing Bulbs In Peat Moss For Winter Season-.

Overwintered tropical bulbs can be planted in pots and placed in a sunny room several weeks before they’re planted outside, or they can be planted straight into the garden in the spring after the last frost.

Digging up and overwintering tender bulbs needs a bit of work, however is a fantastic method to save loan and get a jump start on the garden in the spring.