Issue 59 Save Your Summer Bulbs

Save your summer bulbs. In the overwintering bulbs story in issue 59, I shared my method of digging tender bulbs in the fall and storing them indoors over winter. And I’m not just saving the bulbs, I’m also saving money, since I don’t have to replace them every year. Here are some tips for some of my favorites.
Plant Name Storage and Growing Tips
Caladium Caladium bicolor Overwinters well packed in peat moss at 50 to 60 degrees (a little warmer than most bulbs prefer); tubers come in graded sizes — choose large size for best results; start in house or greenhouse to extend growing time and size.
Canna Canna roman Very easy to store; rhizomes overwinter well in cardboard box covered with newspaper, no need to use peat moss; start early for best size and bloom.
Dahlia Dahlia hybrids Overwinters well packed in peat moss; check tuberous roots once a month for dehydration and mist with water if necessary; to divide, split tubers away from the stem.
Elephant’s ear Alocasia spp. Overwinter as houseplant in pots; if you’ve grown them in the ground, lift and pot up before first frost; feed regularly and water often over the winter.
Gladiola Gladiolus hybrids Overwinters well packed in peat moss; save the little corms that form around the mother corm to grow; stake as you plant so you don’t damage new corms as they form.
Glory lily Gloriosa superba Overwinters well packed in peat moss; check tuberous roots regularly for soft spots. Cut away any you find and let the root dry before storing it in fresh peat moss; plant the root flat and just below the soil surface.
Magic lily Amaryllis belladonna Some are winter hardy to zone 5; bulbs overwinter well packed in peat moss.
Summer hyacinth Galtonia candicans Bulbs overwinter well packed in peat moss.
Taro Colocasia esculenta Overwinters well packed in peat moss; check tubers regularly for soft spots; cut away any bad areas and let the tuber dry before packing in fresh peat moss; needs regular watering when it’s planted.