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Checking stored bulbs

By: Garden Gate staff
Winter is a good time to check on those tender bulbs and tubers you lifted and stored last fall.

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Checking stored bulbs

Winter is a good time to check on those tender bulbs and tubers you lifted and stored last fall. Take a few from the box, remove the newspaper or other packing material you used to wrap them and check the tubers for soft spots that have formed during storage. Squeeze them, and if you discover soft mushy spots, don’t panic. You may not have to throw the tuber away. Simply cut out the spoiled area to prevent it from spreading.

The inside of an elephant ear tuber should be solid and white like a potato, not like the one in the top photo. If you find one like this carefully cut out all of the rotten parts. Then sprinkle enough dusting sulfur, a fungicide, into the wound until it looks like the one in the lower photo. This prevents more decay.

Let the cut dry for a few days, wrap the tuber in fresh paper and put it back in storage. As long as you leave a portion of the root area and the growing tip, the tuber will grow fine when you plant it in your garden next spring.

Tubers or bulbs you can store: Calla lily Zantedeschia spp. Caladium Caladium hybrid Canna Canna spp. Elephant ear Colocasia esculenta Giant elephant ear Xanthosoma hybrid Taro Alocasia hybrid

Published: Feb. 15, 2011
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