The Q&A Archives: Wintering Dahlias

Question: I know that you can dig up dahlia tubers after the first frost, cut back the foliage, and winter them. What do you do to them until Spring? Do you store them in a paper bag, hang from garage rafters? Also, do you cut off all of the foliage or only part of it? Thanks for your help.

Answer: You need to store them in a location that is dark, cool and dry but above freezing. An ideal temperature range is 40 to 45 degrees. Cut the stems down to about four inches. Take care not to damage the necks when digging and handling the tubers. Rinse them clean and air dry at room temperature before storing. Dry them upside down so the stems drain out any moisture. Put them in a cardboard box or paper bag. Pack them so they do not touch each other; you can use shavings, peat moss, vermiculite or similar material to keep them separated. Check them periodically to make sure they are not shriveling or sprouting or rotting.

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