The Q&A Archives: Relocating Bulbs

Question: I have inherited (new home)a flower bed full of bulbs and many other small flowers. I want to dig the whole 8' x 10' area up and start over, as it looks such a mess after the blooms were gone. I want to save the bulbs to reuse after I thoroughly weed, & amend the soil. Do I dig them up and put them in a brown paper bag, as someone suggested, or wait until all the green has died back? Can I store them in my garage? It gets very hot here in summer (garage is NOT cool). What about putting them all in a large pot of dirt until I get the bed all laid out & ready to replant? Is it better to leave them out of the ground until fall?

Answer: In the very late spring/early summer after all of the foliage has withered and turned brown, you can dig up or "lift" the bulbs. Store them in a dry, cool (approximately 50-60 degree) area until the fall. They may then be replanted wherever you like. It is imperative that the spot you keep them in until the fall is cool and dry...if the spot is warm and humid your bulbs will turn into a hard jelly-like mass and be completely useless. Many people have success storing bulbs in paper bags in the refrigerator. You might want to give this method a try.

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