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Overwintering Gaillardia & Dahlia in containers

First foray into both these plants this year (both of which we have enjoyed immensely) and we previously just left everything in the pot outside in the hope that it will pop out again in spring (with mixed results as you can imagine!).  However I want to take care of these so would I be right in thinking I would be better off cutting them back fully after a decent hard frost and then moving the containers into either a small greenhouse (which could be heated) or an unheated garage?  If so which would be best?  Thanks in advance! :)

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  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,861
    Can't say about gaillardia. . Dahlias, cut off all manky foliage, allow to drain on one side somewhere dry.  You can then leave in the pots over winter, preferably somewhere frost free.  They don't need heat , keep only just damp, but do not allow the pots to freeze.
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,171
    As @fidgetbones says for the dahlias - need to be frost free.
    Gaillardias are hardy I think - although it may depend on the variety, as not all of them are perennials.  Assuming it's one of the hardy perennials, they should be fine, although I'd keep them against a sheltered wall somewhere so that they don't get too wet/frozen as they're in a pot. :)

    They tend to be short lived perennials, so many people would take cuttings of them at some point. That would probably be best done in summer, but I'm not sure on that. 
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  • Both Gaillardias and Dahlias are hardy in the milder parts of UK, unless the winter is very long and rainy. Let me assume first that you are not in that category.  The gaillardias should be replanted in a dryish compost and kept anywhere frost free. They appreciate a bit of sun. Dahlias are tubers and can be stored virtually anywhere frost free. Don't replant them. They can survive many months without water. 

    S & W England and S Wales : Gaillardias: as above as an insurance policy. Otherwise, levae them out, but cover with transparent plastic to give them both light and to keep them dry. Same thing for Dahlia tubers, but no need for light, so compost will do. Lift a few as an insurance policy. Remember the old maxim " Cold and wet, send for the vet."
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  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,210
    It depends on your soil as well as the temperature. If you have heavy, waterlogged soil your plants are likely to rot. I lift and store dahlias as described above but gaillardias I grow in containers or dig up and put into pots and put them in the greenhouse, where they flower all winter.
  • I'll be lifting all my potted dahlias shortly but will have limited opportunities.

    Are there any disadvantages to cutting them back and lifting them before a frost actually blackens the foliage.

    You always see it mentioned to wait until then but I've yet to see a reason.
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