Dahlias forum: Storm damage

Views: 131, Replies: 3 » Jump to the end
Name: Will Currie
Hoke co NC (Zone 8a)
Oct 9, 2018 6:35 AM CST
My first year growing dahlias has been more successful than I ever thought thanks to all the great advice I've gotten here. I grew them on the north side of the house to give maximum protection from the sun but that means when Florence came through they bore the full brunt of the storm. They looked dead almost as soon as the rain stopped but I left them standing while I focused on storm recovery hoping for signs of new life. After nearly a month I'm ready to write them off.
The question now is what do I do with the tubers? Should I treat this like a frost and dig them for the winter or should I wait for actual cold weather? I'm in zone 8 ( barely, on the cusp with 7 but winters are warming now) so I was considering just applying heavy mulch for the winter rather than digging them but now I'm concerned about rot setting in. Should I be in a hurry to lift them or is the harm already done ?
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan (Zone 5b)

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Oct 9, 2018 11:26 AM CST
I always wait for cool weather to dig up dahlias, but commercial growers don't and they do just fine... probably better than me:)

I thought dahlia growers in zones 7-8 left the tubers in the ground over the winter?

If it is so wet that the tubers could rot, I would pull them. You could check the ground and see how wet it is down below.

Disclaimer: I am in zone 5, so I know nothing about growing dahlias in zone 7-8:)

Second disclaimer: I am in zone 5 and know nothing about growing dahlias.

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Name: Dan
NE Ohio (Zone 6a)
Oct 9, 2018 1:24 PM CST
The biggest problem with digging them this time of year is finding a cool storage area. I'd probably cut the tops off and put the tubers into a container(s) with potting soil. That might keep them till you're ready to dig and store them. After planting this spring, I had a lot of plants left over. They were growing in planters in only a few inches of soil and not looking good. Last month, I finally filled a big pot with soil, cut the tops completely off 6 plants and put the tubers in the pot. The tops have grown back and are all 5-10" tall. I'll dig them up when I dig the ones in the ground next month. I have family in SW Virginia (zone ?). If they don't dig their dahlias, they usually lose them.

I normally dig mine around Thanksgiving week, but only because I don't have a place cool enough to store them before then.

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Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
Oct 9, 2018 2:57 PM CST
That is a beautiful photo Frank!

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