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What To Do When Your Plants Arrive

We are often asked questions about the proper storage of the plant material we offer. In response, we offer you these guidelines...

Bulbs for Spring Planting

Plant the bulbs as soon as you receive your shipment. If you cannot plant the bulbs immediately, remove the bulbs from plastic bags and put them on a tray in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated place until you have a chance to plant them. Do not let the bulbs freeze. Plant outdoors when the conditions are right for your zone.

Bulbs for Fall Planting

Plant the bulbs as soon as possible after you receive them. If you cannot plant them right away, open the cartons. If the bulbs are in plastic bags, remove them from the plastic. Place them on a tray in a cool, dark dry, well-ventilated area until you can plant them. Do not store them at temperatures below 39°F. Generally all bulbs planted during the fall are hardy and do not need any special protection unless specified in this planting guide.

Perennial Roots

Dormant Bare roots: We usually ship perennials to you in their dormant state, that is: bare roots, usually without leaves, in bags with loose peat moss. They may have some shoots beginning to grow. It is very important to plant these dormant perennials as soon as possible after you receive them. If it is absolutely necessary to store them for a short time before planting them, open the cartons and any plastic that is around the roots. If the roots appear dry, soak them for a few hours in warm water. Thereafter store in slightly moist peat moss in a very cold but not freezing location until you can plant. They can also be placed in pots of soil if planting will be delayed for more than 2 weeks.

Non-dormant in Pots: Some perennials will be shipped to you from our greenhouses. They will be in pots and may have actively growing green leaves. These pots should be immersed in water upon arrival to thoroughly soak the root ball. These non-dormant plants must be hardened off before planting outside. Keep in a cool bright room, and place outside on mild days and gradually leave outside when it is cooler. After a week or so or when nighttime temperatures are above freezing, plant outside. If a severe dip in temperature is expected, you may want to place straw or an old blanket over the green leaves to protect them from severe damage. Frost or cold will not permanently hurt the plant, but it may damage the new leaves and set growth back.

Storage of Summer Flowering Bulbs

To store summer flowering bulbs, dig the bulbs when the foliage has withered or turned brown by a light frost. Air dry in a well-ventilated area for a week. Then remove all soil from the bulbs. Bulbs must be dried before storing or they will rot. Dust the bulbs with a fungicide and store in dry peat moss or wood shavings in a brown paper bag, open crate, netted bag or even old pantyhose. Store at 50–55° in a dry location until time to replant.


Have another question? Return to the Customer Service Help page or send an e-mail directly to Customer Service


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