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Dahlias - lift or leave?

dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 1,017
They’re both planted in a south facing bed, in very well drained soil. I’m in north London. I’m unsure whether or not to leave the tubers in, over the winter, or lift them once they’ve stopped flowering.
Any advice much appreciated! The varieties are Happy Single Date (which I thought I may re site anyway, as it it too huge for its current spot) and a hybrid of Bishop of Canterbury.


  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,940
    I don't think there is a right answer to the question.
    I always lift them, because that is what I have always done.
    Many people leave them in situ.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 1,017
    Thanks - yes, I’ve heard that it’s one of those things many don’t agree on. Maybe as it’s quite mild down here, I’ll leave them in and chance it then.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,286
    I've have several dahlia Arabian Nights in my garden.
    I've never lifted them since planting about 10 years ago and they're fine - even the beast from the east had no effect.
    I also grow Bishops Children from seed each year and most of them come through the winter too.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,490
    You should be fine living in London pending on drainage , I lift all mine but for the odd one I don't like, the one I didn't lift has come back this year but the last winter weren't really that bad.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 1,017
    Thanks I think I’ll lift the one I hope to re site and leave the other one.
    Re the re siting one: I can’t replant it yet, because we’re having some building works done where the new bed will go. What’s the best way to overwinter the tuber? Thanks all.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,454
    edited October 2019
    Some hints here @dappledshade
    I have a tuber of "Bishop of Canterbury" drying off in the greenhouse at the moment. I wasn't going to bother keeping it, but it's formed such a large tuber over the summer that l thought l'd give it a try. 
    My plan is to wrap it in newspaper and keep it in the garage close to the house wall, checking it now and again over winter. 
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,420
    I don't lift mine. The soil is sandy, and I don't really have anywhere to keep the huge tubers (I dug one out last spring and it was about a foot across and nearly as deep.)
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,571
    I lift them after the frost has killed the tops. I then pack in old compost and leave them for the winter in a dry place.  If I leave them, as soon as they start coming up, the slugs eat them.
  • I lift them after the frost has killed the tops.  If I leave them, as soon as they start coming up, the slugs eat them.
    I have had the same problem but there is a GC up the hill from here that leaves their stock plants in. I think (as has already been mentioned) it's more to do with drainage than temperature.
    AB Still learning

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,854
    I used to leave mine "in" when I lived in Hants , sandy soil. I wouldn't dare leave them in the ground on my saturated heavy Devon clay based soil.
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