Overwintering Container Bulbs: How To Store Flower Bulbs In Pots

bulbs in container
Image by erperlstrom

By Anne Baley

In the dead of winter, a bright tulip or hyacinth plant can be a welcome addition to a dreary environment. Bulbs are easily forced to bloom out of season, and bulbs in pots are a common gift during the holidays. Once the blooms are spent and the plant dies back, you will probably consider replanting it outdoors next year. How to store flower bulbs in pots? Simulating nature as much as possible is the best way to ensure their survival.

Can You Store Bulbs in Containers?

Whether your potted bulb is living indoors or out, once the bulb becomes dormant it needs to be stored somewhere protected. Overwintering container bulbs depends on the type of plant you have.

Tender bulbs, such as some type of elephant ear, can’t handle being frozen, so they have to be moved before freezing weather arrives. Other plants that are more comfortable with freezes, such as crocus and tulip, need to be treated differently.

Tips for Storing Flower Bulbs in Pots

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Storing flower bulbs is a matter of allowing the dormant bulb to be safe until it can grow roots and continue its growth pattern. Can you store bulbs in containers? Tender perennial bulbs should be treated this way, by moving the container to a protected cool spot such as a garage, a basement or a protected porch.

For hardier plants, deadhead the flowers when they wither and clip off dead leaves. Store the planted bulbs in a cool place through the summer while they are dormant. Plant them outdoors in the garden when fall arrives, to allow them to create more roots for next year’s growth.

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