Dahlia's - Knowledgebase Question

Salem, Ne
Question by Ccandc11
September 25, 2009
I have dwarf dahlias that I would like to save the bulbs for next year. I have always let them dry out after the first frost, then dust them with bulb dust before storing in a box with some peat moss. I don't have much luck with them growing the next year after planting. Any suggestions? Also, some of the leaves on the plants now look decayed. Is this normal or do some of them have a disease?


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Answer from NGA
September 25, 2009

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It is late in the season so I suspect the rotting leaves are just a natural occurance. Storing dahlia tubers shouldn't be too challenging. Allow frost to kill the tops of the plants, which signals the tubers to go into dormancy. After the tops turn black cut them off at ground level. Dig the tubers and brush away excess soil then layer them in cardboard boxes. I use peat moss but you can use bagged potting soil if you have some on hand. Set the boxes in a cool place but one that remains above freezing. Check the tubers on a monthly basis to make sure they are not dehydrating. If they begin to shrivel mist them with plain water and return them to the boxes. As long as they don't freeze and don't dehydrate, the tubers should sprout beautifully for you next season. Hope this information helps!

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