from the employee owners at Gardener's Supply Co.

Overwintering Dahlias

I was 50 before I discovered dahlias. Part of it was about being a flower snob. Dahlias (like glads) were “out” for many years. But I’m sorry to say that it’s also about climate change.

Dahlia
This variety is called Who Dun It.

I was 50 before I discovered dahlias. Part of it was about being a flower snob. Dahlias (like glads) were “out” for many years.

But I’m sorry to say that it’s also about climate change. Though my garden hasn’t moved, our hard frosts now come about four weeks later than they did 20 years ago. For dahlias this makes all the difference, because they really hit their stride in late August and continue right through into early October.

A week or two ago, with a hard frost in the forecast, I asked my nephew to come over and help me dig out the dahlia tubers and get them into the basement. You can get by doing this after a frost or two, but I dislike handling that mushy, post-frost foliage.

Storing the tubers in a cool basement is easy. Here’s how you dig them out:

-Kathy LaLiberte
Director of Gardening, Gardener’s Supply

Slideshow: Overwintering Dahlias

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
Slideshow: Overwintering Dahlias
To see captions, click on the image. To comment or explore further, go to Flickr.
 

5 Comments

  1. October 24, 2009    

    I enjoyed your blog about dahlias though I love them I have not been able to grow them . My dahlias grow to skinny leggy etc.
    I hope next year will be better becuase of what I learned today, thanks,
    TEresa

  2. October 25, 2009    

    I am going to have to try that!! I too seem tohave a few problems with growing them but am working steadily on what others do!! Thanks!!

  3. Anonymous
    November 7, 2009    

    We have been very successful with this but we do make sure the soil is removed before storage to avoid bugs. Where ey are under some protection like a rhodo or azalea we have been able to keep in the ground
    Mike Pacific Northwest

  4. November 8, 2009    

    I never dig up my dahlias and they come up so big and beautiful. My plant is huge. I’ve had many comments on it.
    Nancy

  5. Kathy
    November 10, 2009    

    Thanks for sharing your info. Here are some of my discoveries: I find it best to hose the tubers off and divide them in the fall. In the spring you are more likely to break off sprouts. I store them in marked cardboard mailing boxes with dry peat moss. Also, best to put a stake in the ground before you cover the tuber when planting–getting it as close as possible. My husband has made me neat cages from concrete reinforcing wire so I don’t have to tie them to a stake.

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