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Storing Dahlias over winter

bobloesbobloes Posts: 134
Hi All
I would like to succesfully store my dahlias over winter.  I live by the sea in Weymouth so frosts are not a major concern and I have generally left the plants in the ground.  Most have come up again but I want to move some.  I did lift a couple some years ago but the tubers did not remain firm and just turned to a papery consistency.  So is there a guaranteed method to store them and, if successful, will I be able to separate the tubers to produce more plants?  For info I have a very heavy clay soil.
Thanks for any suggestions.


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    If they went "papery" then they dried out too much.
    I lift mine,with some soil ( heavy Devon clay soil ) attached and leave them bunched together side by side in the polytunnel. The soil seems to hold just enough moisture to stop them drying out too much, but not enough to make them rot.
  • When's the best time to lift them? I've never had Dahlias till this year,will my little plastic GH be ok to overwinter them? Thanks 
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    lift them when the frost has turned them black. They do need to be frost free, but I've found they can take a fair bit of cold, but not wet.
  • bobloesbobloes Posts: 134
    Thanks to all - I shall try again.
  • coccinellacoccinella Posts: 787
    Hello Hostafan1,

    If I lifted the dahlias before they went black would they survive?  I have some re-organisation to do and the lovely blooms are in the way at the moment.  I can't pot them as they are quite big.  Any ideas?  Thank you

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    If you have to lift them with a decent soil ball around them and just put them somewhere out of the way in a corner to allow them to die down naturally. All the time they have foliage,they're making,and storing energy for next year. Don't let the soil dry out until after the frost has blackened them.
    They'll be fine, honest. 
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