Storing Bulbs Before Potting Up

Bare bulbs can be stored for several weeks in a refrigerator prior to potting without damage if they are packed properly. However, they will still require a chilling period for rooting after they have been potted.

Vegetable or crisper drawers can be used, but don't store bulbs in the same drawer you keep ripening fruit or vegetables which give off ethylene gas which can harm the bulbs. (Some even recommend not to keep flower bulbs in the same refrigerator as fruit or vegetables.)

The best way to store them is in a mesh bag or paper bag with holes that permit ventilation. You don't have to worry about water, as the humidity inside a refrigerator is usually high enough. Check them periodically to make sure they are not molding or drying out.

Pot your bulbs right away if you have an appropriate location immediately available: see Potting Up Bulbs for Forcing for instructions.

Warning: Many Bulbs are Poisonous

Be very careful about storing bulbs in a refrigerator: some bulbs are poisonous, so this storage method is not recommended for households with young children. The following is a list of common spring-flowering bulbs which are poisonous:

  1. Lily of the Valley: all parts are poisonous
  2. Daffodil (Narcissus): all parts
  3. Amaryllis: bulbs
  4. Hyacinth: bulbs
  5. Iris: corms/rhizomes
  6. Tulip: bulbs
  7. Checkered Lily: bulbs



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Indoor Forcing: Introduction

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Page created and maintained by A. Steinbergs

Last modified: October 14, 2008