Over-wintering Geraniums, Fuchsias, Dahlias - Knowledgebase Question

Colorado Springs, CO
Avatar for Schiessd
Question by Schiessd
September 20, 1998
How do I winterize hanging Fuchsias, potted Geraniums, and planted Dahlias?

Answer from NGA
September 20, 1998
Dahlia tubers should be dug and stored in a cool, dry location until it's time to replant them in the spring. If left in the ground over the winter months, they'll rot. Wait until frost kills the tops, then dig the tubers, brush off excess soil, label them (I use a magic-marker and write directly on the tuber), then then store them in sawdust or peatmoss. In the spring, when little buds begin to show at the neck of each tuber, divide, leaving one bud per tuber, and replant them in the garden. Fuchsias and Geraniums can both be overwintered after simply cutting the foliage back to the edges of the containers and then placing the containers in a garage, or other unheated (but above-freezing) storage area. Don't water them until you see green buds on the remaining stems in the spring time. Alternately, you can pull up the geranium plants, pull off the leaves, and hang the plants upside-down by their roots in a cool, dark area like a garage. In the spring replant in the garden, cutting the stems back to 6-8 inches to encourage new growth. You can root cuttings of both fuchsias and geraniums to keep indoors over the winter months, planting them in soil after they've developed a substantial root mass.

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