• Gather bulbs after the first hard frost, after foliage is dead. Cut back leaves to 2-4 inches before storing.
  • Insert a fork or spade 1 ft. from the base of each plant and dig in a circle, taking care not to cut or scape bulbs or tubers.
  • Clean bulbs and tubers with a soft brush or gentle wash. Dry before storing.
  • Dust bulbs and tubers with a fungicide to help prevent rot.
  • Pack in containers that breathe, like cardboard boxes, and in a medium that helps keep moisture and temperature constant, like sawdust, coarse vermiculite, shredded newspaper, or sphagnum peat moss. Make sure bulbs don’t touch each other.
  • Check bulbs monthly to make sure they’re resting peacefully. Discard mushy or rotted bulbs. If you see any insects, treat with insecticide.

Bonus Tips

  • Divide canna and elephant ear bulbs and tubers, and then “cure” in a dry place for a few days to toughen skins. Wrap in newspaper to store.
  • Only store dahlia tubers that host at least one “eye,” a round protrusion from which new plants grow.
  • Before storing, label each bulb with a permanent marker. Be sure to note the bulb’s color.
  • Plastic produce bags that contain holes for circulation are good for bulb storage.
  • Even if you store all bulbs correctly, you’ll likely lose about 10%.