The Q&A Archives: Digging Tender Bulbs

Question: I have several different kinds of tender bulbs that I need to dig up for the winter. The problem is that we have had very mild weather (although it has gotten into the 30's at night) and the stems are still green, they haven't died and turned brown. Should I go ahead and dig them up or let them stay in until the stems die like you are supposed to?

Answer: It's important for the foliage to stay on until they wither and die naturally. But, you have two options - you can bend the leaves down toward the ground to hasten ripening, or you can dig the bulbs with the foliage attached and allow the leaves to yellow and wither before removing them from the bulbs. Either way you'll be allowing the nutrients in the leaves to travel down to the bulb where they'll be stored to provide energy for next year's bloom.

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