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Can I Start Hardening Off My Dahlias

Uncle MortUncle Mort Posts: 77
I have four different varieties of Dahlia, Coral Jupiter, Bishop of Auckland, David Howard and Hillcrest Royal which I have grown on a sunny windowsill.

Can I start hardening them off or is it still to early.  I was thinking to place them outside against a south facing wall and bring them in at night for a week or so.

I live in Birmingham, West Mids.
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  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,441
    So long as your weather is OK you can start, just don't forget to bring them in at night if it's cold. I've heard that parts of the UK have horrid weather and gales so if that's where you are then, obviously, wait a bit.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Uncle MortUncle Mort Posts: 77
    Its quite windy out this morning, so I will leave it until it calms down. I will bring them in at night, it will be just my luck that they will catch some frost and keel over.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,574
    For tender young plants wind can be as damaging as frost so definitely wait for it to be calmer and keep and eye on frost forecasts when you do start putting them out.   It's been a long, cold spring so I expect more late frosts and nasty surprises.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Uncle MortUncle Mort Posts: 77
    Sorry if this appears to be a silly question but at what temperature does frost occur. Is it 0c and below or higher.


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,574
    You can get ground frosts and air frosts.  What you need to know is that young foliage on dahlias won't like it anywhere near that cold so don't leave them outside till they've been hardened off by day for at least 10 days and night time temps are above 5C.

    Don't start leaving them out until this very windy period is over as that will frighten them too.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Uncle MortUncle Mort Posts: 77
    Thanks, great advice. It's so easy to get over excited and try to place tender plants outside to early.

    Neither will I leave my Dahlias in the ground over winter. I lost two varieties, Kilburn glow and X Factor, come late autumn they will all be stored and packed away safely.


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,315
    I grew Bishop of Aukland in my last garden. It has the most stunning colour and grew up to almost 7 feet tall
    Devon.
  • Uncle MortUncle Mort Posts: 77
    Bishop of Auckland is my favourite single flowered Dahlia and was the one that got me hooked on growing and collecting them.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,315
    I've never found another one to buy
    Devon.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,574
    Sarah Raven lists them but currently unavailable.   You could put one on a wishlist.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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