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How should I overwinter it?

Sam 37Sam 37 Posts: 1,267

This year, for the first time ever, I grew a dahlia from seed.  It flowered all summer long and it still has several buds that look ready to burst open.

However, I know dahlias are not hardy and as I don't have a green house, I was wondering if anyone has a tried and tested method of making sure it survives without being lifted and doesn't mind sharing here?  I live in the SE.

Thank you.


  • Hi Sam, I overwinter mine in the garden but make sure I cover it up with lots of fallen leaves.  On top of the leaves, I put some twigs, which prevent most of them from being blown away when it's windy. 

    It works for me but no doubt others employ different methods!

  • PhaidraPhaidra Posts: 582

    Hi Sam, I don't lift mine either.  I simply cover it with a piece of fleece and that's all.

  • Artemis3Artemis3 Posts: 748

    Though I always grow one in a pot, I don't lift and save it the way Monty does, which, no doubt, is the proper way (!), but I simply bring in the pot and place it in a non-heated south-facing upstairs room and keep it very slightly damp.  After several weeks, it starts dying down and I leave it in the pot, just as it is.  I do not water it again.

    In spring, probably early March, I take it out of the pot, separate the tubers and plant them in fresh compost.  In May or June, I take them out, keep one in a pot and put the others in the beds.  Some of them, sometimes, survive the winter in the garden but I always take the one left in a pot in, so I can start again the following spring.

  • Just one point to add, if you leave them in the ground, next spring you need to keep a very good watch for slugs and snails as they will rapidly eat the new shoots.

  • Sam 37Sam 37 Posts: 1,267

    Danae, Phaedra, Artemis and MuddyFork, thank you all very much indeed for your replies.  I will cover them carefully and hopefully they'll still be there next spring!  image

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    Key issue is soil type. If you have heavy clay you are best to lift them, regardless of temperature, because they rot in the wet. Slugs love clay and will munch up every bit of surviving growth before you see any sign of it. Lifting isn't difficult so don't be put off.

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    If you want to lift it, leave it to dry out somewhere then check it for slugs and vine weevil lurking in crevices, when it’s completely dry, wrap it in a few sheets of news paper and keep it in a frost free place. Start  it off in a pot next Spring when you see tiny shoots forming at the top. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Sam 37Sam 37 Posts: 1,267

    Posy and Lyn, thank you for your very helpful advice.  Those slugs and vine weevils are such a menace and can often make sure a plant doesn't see another spring!  I know from bitter experience. image

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