The Q&A Archives: Dahlia Tubers Shriveled

Question: I dug up my dahlia tubers after a hard frost last fall. I put them in a paper bag with peat moss and put them in our root cellar. In the spring, they were shriveled and I was unable to use them. What did I do wrong?

Answer: I'd guess conditions were too warm or too dry for your dahlia tubers. It's always a good idea to check stored bulbs, corms and tubers once each month to make sure they're not sprouting, drying or becoming moldy.

Here are a few general guidelines:

After frost has nipped the foliage and stems of your Dahlias, cut the foliage down to the ground. Then carefully dig the tubers and lay them in the sun for a few hours to dry. Then shake off excess soil. You can store them in sawdust, dry sand, peat moss or vermiculite in a cool (40F - 45F), dark place. In the spring the tubers can be divided before they are planted. Each swollen tuber that has a bud forming at the stem end can be cut away from the others and planted. Cut with a sharp knife, taking part of the original stem with each division. Hope this information helps you increase your inventory of Dahlias!

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