Overwintering Dahlias - Knowledgebase Question

W. Sacramento, CA
Question by cewhite
November 16, 1997
This summer, I planted dahlia bulbs in my very tall raised beds. In Sacramento, we get all our rain for the year between November and February. Do I need to lift the bulbs (or are they tubers?) for the winter, or will they be OK in the ground?


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Answer from NGA
November 16, 1997

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If you leave your dahlias in the ground all winter, they may rot. Dahlias grow from tubers and should be divided at the end of the growing season. After the tops turn yellow and wilt, dig the tubers and store them over the winter.

In the early spring divide them and replant. Dahlia tubers in need of division will look like the spokes of a wagon wheel. Each new tuber should have an eye (at the top, near the old stem). Divide by cutting with a knife. Dust with sulfur and replant each tuber in the garden bed.

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