A lot of gardeners struggle with what to do with flower bulbs that they ordered but cannot plant right away. Don't be alarmed if your plants appear to be dead or void of green leaves or sprouts—most bulbs and perennials are shipped in their natural dormant stage. Almost all of these plants die back to the ground in autumn and early winter, and are more successfully transported in this dormant state than when they are actively growing. All bulbs and perennials should be planted in your garden as soon as possible to ensure the best success.
Plant Care Tips for New Bulb Arrivals
If you need some plant care help, we have some easy tips to follow. If you must delay planting, open the bags to permit air circulation and place them out of direct sunlight in a cool, well-ventilated room like a basement or garage. Do not place the bulbs where they can freeze. If you have the space, store the bulbs in a refrigerator. However, do not store bulbs near fresh fruit, as fruit emits gasses that can damage the bulbs.
Bulbs for Spring Planting
Plant the flower bulbs as soon as you receive your shipment. If you cannot plant the bulbs immediately, remove them from the 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 flower 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.
We usually ship perennials to you in their dormant state, that is: bareroots, 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.