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By Annch

United Kingdom Gb

I am a new gardener. I have just dug up my Dahlias to prevent them rotting in the ground. Please could you let me know how to store them over the winter? when should I plant them again? Do I separate the tubers - how and when?



Cut off the stems quite close to the tubers. When all the soil is dry shake it off. Lay the tubers in a shallow box of dry peat, sand etc and just cover them with the same stuff. Keep frost free, dry and away from mice, and periodically check that they are not going mouldy. Do not separate the tubers until next year, when you can if you want to.

In early spring you can start them into growth. Try placing them half buried in a tray of damp compost and move to somewhere light and a bit warmer. When new shoots appear you can decide whether to plant the whole thing as it is, separate some of the tubers or take cuttings from some of the new shoots. Then you can pot them up and after frosts are over harden them off and plant out.

28 Nov, 2011


I use to turn them upside down for a couple of weeks to drain them before wrapping in newspaper and storing in the garage till replanting in the spring. But nowadays as I live in the South East I leave them in the ground.

28 Nov, 2011


Newspaper's certainly quicker, easier and less messy, and takes less space. So take your pick! But we did have a mouse in our garage, which discovered the sack of birdseed. What a mess! I am hoping the new shed is mouseproof.

28 Nov, 2011


Steragram, I discovered a mouse in my garage yesterday, it had moved all the nuts I had for winter birds into my bags of compost.

Annch, I lift my Dahlias and store them like above. You can leave them in the ground if your soil drains quickly and you mulch them (compost, bark and grit). There is a risk of them rotting (not very nice in spring when you hope to see young shoots and all you get is a rotting smell), but saves on effort. I lifted mine a few weeks ago - got bored of them and I needed the space for spring bulbs.

28 Nov, 2011


I lift mine, put them in the Ghouse untill the soil drie's out enough to clean off, wrap it in newspaper then place in a carrier bag and into a cupboard in the bedroom untill about march/april, Pot up and back into the Ghouse till warm enough to plant outside, And Wallah lol..

28 Nov, 2011


I let them dry off and then get off as much dry earth as possible before wrapping them in newspaper and storing them in boxes in my garage. And dont forget to label which is which because if you are like me and have different varieties you will never remember which is which next spring.

29 Nov, 2011


Hi Inverglen.
I wished I had your wisdom before taking the up and having to learn the hard way. I completely forgot to label them - so next year will be quite a surprise as far as colour and variety is concerned. AnnCh

29 Nov, 2011


I am going to give up the box of dry compost this year and try newspaper since you all seem to get good results.

29 Nov, 2011


And why not Steragram :) I have done this for 4 years now and they all come through, Begonnias Too, I have 2 Canna tubers drying out now so im trying the newspaper wrapping with them too, I have nothing to loose as they wont survive outside anyway..

29 Nov, 2011


I have a begonia too, still petty wet but hope it won't take too long to dry. I washed most of the compost off the dahlias but it wouldn't come off the begonia. Hope the Cannas survive - can't see why they shouldn't. This site is so useful!

2 Dec, 2011

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