How to Store Dahlias Over Winter | Living the Country Life
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How to Store Dahlias Over Winter

Dahlias, which grow in a stunning variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, star in many cottage and cutting gardens until the first frost of fall. After that, the flowers and their tubers will not survive cold winters. To save these big, flamboyant beauties for the next season you'll need a little diligence and our overwintering tips.
  • Photography by Kindra Clineff

    Overwinter Dahlia Tubers

    Only reliably hardy to Zone 8, dahlias can't survive cold winters. Follow our tips for digging up the tubers and keeping them warm and safe until next spring.

    Date Published: September 14, 2016
    Date Updated: April 18, 2017
  • dahlia tubers, fall gardening
    Kindra Clineff

    Dig Them Up

    To get maximum mileage out of your dahlias, bide your time until the dahlia foliage dies back after a light frost. Taking care not to bruise the tubers that sprawl out from the main stem, gingerly apply a spade fork to the soil and dig up the entire tuber clump, laying it on the ground for a few hours to dry in the sun.

    Date Published: September 14, 2016
    Date Updated: April 18, 2017
  • dahlia tubers, fall gardening, overwintering tips
    Kindra Clineff

    Trim Stems

    Cut the stem from the tuber bundle at about an inch or less from the crown.

    Date Published: September 14, 2016
    Date Updated: April 18, 2017
  • Photography by Kindra Clineff

    Label the Tubers

    Using a permanent marker, write the dahlia variety or color directly onto the tuber before storing. This makes for quick identification in the spring.

    Date Published: September 14, 2016
    Date Updated: April 18, 2017
  • overwintering dahlias
    Kindra Clineff

    Storing Tubers

    Lay the tubers on top of a crate of dry soil, wood shavings, vermiculite, or wrap them in newspaper, taking care not to bruise the tubers. Also store any stray tubers that broke off—they might sprout the next year. Store the dahlia tubers for the winter, ideally in a dark, cool cellar that remains at 40°F–50°F.

    Date Published: September 14, 2016
    Date Updated: April 18, 2017
  • planting dahlia tubers, spring gardening
    Kindra Clineff

    Plant in Spring

    In spring, when the danger of frost has passed, bring the buried treasures out and remove any hopelessly shriveled tubers (although even seemingly bygone tubers often sprout). Plant the crowns of the tubers about 2 to 4 inches deep with the previous season’s growing tip facing upward.

    Date Published: September 14, 2016
    Date Updated: April 18, 2017

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