Flower bulbs don’t look like much, but they contain the beginnings of a beautiful flowering plant. The biggest danger when storing bulbs is moisture. It’s recommended that you store them for the winter in a box of loose packing peanuts or peat moss to avoid rot or decay. Although dry is the ideal state for stored bulbs, some bulbs, such as amaryllis or lily-of-the-valley, require soaking before planting to give them a head start. Most bulbs are planted in the fall. When you take them out of storage, if your bulbs appeared over-dried, there are a few ways to rehydrate them.
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Gently squeeze the flower bulb. If it is mushy or collapses, the bulb is dead. If the bulb is firm beneath your fingers, it’s still alive.
Fill a container with tepid water. Tap water is okay as long as its not heavily chlorinated. If this is the case, use bottled or mineral water.
Remove any loose husks or dirt from your bulbs. Inspect them for any mold or insect damage. Damaged bulbs won’t thrive. If your bulbs have reproduced, gently pull the small bulbs away from the parent. They should separate easily. Both the parent and smaller bulb can, and should, be planted.
Place your flower bulbs in the water. Soak for three to four hours. You can also soak overnight, but don’t leave your bulbs in water more than eight hours or your bulbs may absorb too much water and rot.
Plant your bulbs in well-drained soil roughly twice as deep as the bulb is long.