Storing Summer Bulbs

Q: I am storing summer bulbs for the first time — is there anything I need to do for them during the winter?

A:  Bulbs, tubers, and corms need some attention during the dormant winter period. Inspect canna, gladiola, dahlia, caladium, and other stored bulbs this month for dryness and signs of decay. Shriveling indicates that the relative humidity in the storage area is too low. If bulbs are shriveled and packing media is very dry, dampen the material slightly. Bulbs showing obvious signs of rot or spotting should be discarded immediately. All bulbs should be spaced far enough apart to allow for adequate air circulation. 

Stored dahlias should be plump. If they are severely shriveled, place them in a bucket of water for several hours to re-hydrate. Slight damage can be cut away to fresh, white flesh. Re-wrap the roots in lightly dampened newspaper and store.