Overwintering Lilies, Begonia, Etc.

Anonymous added on October 2, 2014 | Answered

No frost has occurred. I go south for the winter and with the warmer seasons we do not experience frost before we leave, yet I need to dig up our lilies, begonias and dahlias soon if I am going to get them properly dried.

When/how should snowbirds dig up tender rhizomes and bulbs to store indoors for the winter when there is no leaf killing frost before they leave? Same problem occurs re mulching perennials?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 2, 2014

They can be easily lifted with a garden fork or spade shovel prior to the complete die out of their foliage. Break up the clumps and separate the bulbs, allowing them to dry out some before storing, usually about a week or two in a cool, dry area. Then, clip off foliage, shake off any remaining soil and pack the bulbs in dry peat moss or wood shavings inside a brown paper bag or cardboard box. Place them in a dark area with cool room temperatures, like a basement, until spring.

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