A Quick Question About Dahlias

This one’s got to be fast today…We’re heading off to see Niko in an hour.

I planted a couple of dahlias this year – first time I’ve grown them – and I’d really like to save them. I know they won’t survive the winter outside, so when do I bring them in? After the frost kills them back, or before?

And, since they’re planted in plastic pots (set inside some more decorative containers), can I just bring the pots in, or do I need to take the roots out of the soil and store them?

Thanks in advance, Gang…I know some of you must be old-hands at this….

The 4 O’Clock:

Bright and beautiful.

(I should be home before 4 this afternoon to get today’s shot, barring any unforseen circumstances…)

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20 thoughts on “A Quick Question About Dahlias

  1. My family has raised dahlias for decades. Depending on your winter zone you can leave these in the ground and mulch heavy. I see you are from Rhode Island, so I suspect your cold hardiness is more of a concern. It is probably best to dig your bulbs before the ground begins to freeze.

    Another benefit of digging the bulbs is that you can separate them to make more dahlias to plant next year. You see as the dahlias grow, they develop new tubers that can be separated to make more plants. My grandfather and uncles as well as my dad have done this routinely to make large dahlia beds with wonderful color displays.

    I had a limited dahlia bed this year due to some bad planting and sprouting last year. I hope next yer to have a more substantial display. I hope I gave you some useful information.

    • Thanks, Joe! I just need to know whether to leave them in the pots in the dry, cold garage all winter, or lift the tubers out of the soil for storage. I only have 2 of them, but with my three-year-old granddaughter in the house, I don’t have a whole lot of spare time, either…

  2. Although I’m certainly no botanical expert (you’ll remember my guide for wintering a rosemary bush), I would leave my dahlias in their beds until after a frost or two. (Knowing me, it may have even been the 3rd.) In any event, the ground wasn’t even close to being frozen when I pulled them but I was still able to see the late season blooms.

  3. Cut the stem down leaving about an inch on the tuber, dry pot out completely, loosen soil around tuber carefully. When soil absolutley dry cover with dry mulch layer, keep in a dry dark place till spring. You could even bubblewrap pot – but make sure everything stays dry. My 2c worth. πŸ™‚ Laura

  4. Thanks for reminding me Marie! I grew one for the first time this year too, (I actually planted a dozen, but the snails ate all the others!) and had almost forgotten it needs bringing in! Must do that soon, as a frosty weekend has been forecast. I’m sorry I can’t offer any tips as I’m a beginner too! πŸ˜€

  5. I learned something new today (reading your comments). I’ve been thinking about planting dahlias, so this is good to know. Thanks! Love the light in your 4 O’Clock. (The name of that keeps reminding me of my mother who used to have a big patch of 4 O’Clocks — the flowers. Maybe I’ll plant some of those too.)

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