dahlias preserved - Knowledgebase Question

oak lawn, Il
Question by sueperfan1
September 19, 2009
how can i save my beautiful dahlia bulbs for next year? They are so beautiful i would like to keep them around. I tried last year keeping them in the frig but they molded and didn't bloom. please help me. thank you.

Answer from NGA
September 19, 2009


You should be able to save the dahlia tubers over the winter months and replant them next spring. Wait until frost kills the tops of the plants down. When this happens it signals the plants to go into dormancy. After the tops are killed back, cut them off at soil level and then dig up the tubers. They will grow in a cluster, almost like a wagon wheel. Dig the entire clump out of the ground, bush off the soil and set them in a cool, airy place to dry. In a week or so, pack them into boxes filled with shredded newspapers or dry peat moss and set them in an unheated place that stays above freezing. The refrigerator is too cold and too damp for them. Instead, set them in an unheated basement or garage. As long as it remains above freezing, the tubers should be fine. Check them every month to make sure they are not shriveling up or dehydrating. If they begin to shrivel, mist them with plain water and repack in the newspaper or peat moss. In the spring when the weather warms, replant the tubers. You can cut each individual tuber away from the cluster and plant them individually. Enjoy your dahlias!

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