Q. How to Store Dahlia Tubers For the Winter?
What do with Dahlias leave them in the ground for winter or do I dig them up and how should I store them?
A.Dahlias grow from underground tubers that may or may not survive the winter, depending on where you live. Here in the Pacific Northwest, Dahlia tubers can perish if left in the ground. This unfitting end can occur for two main reasons. First, Dahlias tubers can not tolerate cold or freezing temperatures. If we drop below freezing, and the cold penetrates the ground, the tuber will degenerate to mush. Secondly, our climate is very wet. Often tubers that survive the cold, will simply rot over winter. If you mulch heavily, have soil that is very well drained and we have a mild winter, your Dahlias may survive in the ground.
However, most folks simply dig up their tubers in mid to late fall. Right after the first mild frost is ideal. This kills the top foliage, but hopefully hasn't harmed the tuber. Dig up the hole clump and store it in a frost free location for the winter. A garage, or basement is ideal. Professional Dahlia growers all have methods of storage that include keeping tubers in dry sand, peat moss or even saran-wrapping them. Check out our articles section for more info about these techniques. Storage has its own set of challenges... too dry, the tuber can wither. Too wet, the tuber rots. Too cold, the tuber dies.
Come late spring, the tuber clump can be either replanted, or if you are really adventurous, you can divide the tubers into multiple plants.
Hope this helps!
Posted: 10/29/2017 12:00:00 AM
Location: Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada
Tags: dahlia, dahlia tubers, dahlia tuber storage, protecting dahlias, over wintering dahlias