A Bucket Full Of Bulbs
(Image credit: LUMIKK555)

Maybe you got a package of spring bulbs as a gift late in the season or perhaps you just forgot to plant a bag that you bought. Either way, you now have to figure out how you should be storing bulbs that have sprouted because you have a whole bag of them and the ground is frozen and rock hard.

How to Store Bulbs That Have Sprouted

Here are a couple tips on storing bulbs that have already sprouted.

Store Bulbs in a Dry Place

If the bulbs are in a plastic bag, the first thing to do is remove the sprouting bulbs from the bag and either put them in a cardboard box wrapped in newspaper or a paper bag. Be careful that you do not break the bulb sprout off, as this will kill the bulb. The bulb sprout is very susceptible to rot and the paper will help to keep the bulb sprout from rotting.

Store Bulbs in a Cold Place

Keep sprouted bulbs in a cold location. Not simply cool. It needs to be cold (but not below freezing). In the back of a refrigerator or a cold garage (one that is attached to the house so it will not completely freeze) is ideal. Sprouting bulbs are coming out of dormancy, but a drop in temperatures will help return the bulbs to their dormant state. The green bulb sprout will not grow any further once the bulb goes back into dormancy. Also, bulbs need a certain amount of dormancy in order to be able to bloom properly. Returning sprouting bulbs to their dormant state will help them bloom better in the spring.

Plant Sprouting Bulbs as Soon as Possible

In the spring, as soon as the ground is workable, plant your bulbs in the desired location outdoors. They will grow and bloom this year, but be aware that their bloom will be less impressive than it might have been due to the fact that they will not be well established. With these bulbs, it is extremely important that you do not cut back the foliage after the blooms are spent. They will desperately need to restore their energy reserves, as they will not have had a good root system to help support them through blooming. Never fear, if you follow these steps for storing bulbs that have sprouted, your sprouted bulbs will bring you plenty of pleasure for years to come.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.