How to Store Dahlia Tubers Over Winter
How to Store Dahlia Bulbs
A dahlia is a flowering plant that is grown from a tuberous bulb. Dahlias are grown by gardeners, both professionals and amateurs. It is possible to store dahlia bulbs over the winter, so that the bulbs can be replanted in the spring to produce more flowers. Remove the bulbs from the ground carefully and then select a well ventilated container to store them. Make sure to check the bulbs throughout the winter to make sure they're staying fresh.
Removing the Bulbs from the Ground
Cut the stems.Before you can remove dahlia bulbs from the ground, you will need to cut down the stems. You should do this as soon as the first frost of the season has arrived.
- Cut back the stems until they're about 6 inches (15 centimeters) from the ground.
- You can now leave the roots for two to three more weeks before removing the bulbs.
- If desired, you can wait for the leaves to die instead and skip cutting the stems.
Loosen the soil around the bulbs.To start removing the bulbs, use a fork to gently loosen the soil surrounding the bulbs. Be careful not to dig too close to the stem or too deep into the ground. You do not want to accidentally cut into the bulbs and damage them.
- Use wiggling motions to remove the dirt.
- Loosen up a small circle of soil around each bulb.
Remove the bulbs from the ground.Once you start to see the bulbs, you can remove them. You can use a blunt-ended stick to remove soil surrounding the bulbs. Then, insert your fork under the bulb. Push back on the fork gently to lift the bulb out of the ground.
- Go very slowly as you lift the bulb.
Shake and rinse off any excess soil.There will be a lot of soil clinging to the bulbs. This should be removed prior to storage. Gently shake off as much soil as you can. Then, rinse off the remaining soil using water.
- Wear gardening gloves to protect your hands.
- Be extremely careful when shaking and rinsing the bulbs. You do not want to cause them any damage. If damaged, you will not be able to reuse the bulbs next year.
Storing the Bulbs Properly
Dry out the bulbs for three weeks.You should not store the bulbs until they're completely dry. This process takes about three weeks. After you've removed the bulbs from the soil, place them upside down in a pot.
- Place the pot in an area away from direct sunlight during the drying process.
- The pot should be placed in a dry, airy space. A storage shed or garage would work well.
Prepare the dahlias for storage.After three weeks have passed, you can prepare your dahlias for winter storage. They should be packed into storage containers with either peat moss, sawdust, or potting mix.
- Use a tray to store your plants.
- Then, cover the container with a piece of burlap or a similar material.
Find a place to store your bulbs inside.If your area is not prone to extremely cold winters, you can leave the tray outside near your garden. However, if temperatures drop below 16°F (−9°C), you need to store the dahlia bulbs in some kind of shelter. The area must be dry, cooler, and well-ventilated for the bulbs to thrive.
- A dry cellar or cupboard in a cooler area of your home, such as a basement or attic, are all good areas to store dahlia bulbs.
- For best results, the storage area should have a temperature between 39° to 45°F (4° to 7°C).
Check the bulbs throughout the winter.You don't want to neglect your bulbs until the coming spring. Throughout the winter, check on them regularly. If you notice any signs of decay. If you notice the bulbs are shriveling, mist them with water. If any portion starts to rot, trim that portion off and remove it from the container.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
Make sure to remove the bulbs at the right time.You should always remove your bulbs at the right time of year. This way, you have the best chance of them re-blooming in the spring. The first light frost of the season is usually the best time to remove the bulbs, but it's vital to remove them before a hard frost. Make sure to get them out of the ground before it becomes consistently below freezing in your area.
Avoid storing bulbs in warm places.You want to make sure your bulbs are stored at a low temperature. Storing bulbs inside your home, in a place like the kitchen, is not recommended. Warm cupboards and cabinets will destroy dahlia bulbs. Store them in areas in your home with a lower temperature, like the attic or basement.
Make sure your storage container is well ventilated.There should be some holes and slots in the storage container you choose. If bulbs cannot get access to air, this will cause them to decay. Always select a well-ventilated storage container when storing dahlia bulbs.
QuestionI would like to know why not just leaves bulbs in the ground during winter like hyacinths or daffodils, or roses, and then they will reproduce next season?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBecause when the ground freezes, it will split the tender tubers.Thanks!
QuestionCan some dirt be left on tubers before storing them?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere may be a small amount of dirt on the tubers. However, try to get most of it off.Thanks!
QuestionIs it necessary to wash them?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, but if you rinse them, you can see the new growth and have a clearer idea of where to divide them. You also can see if anything looks rotten and cut it away.Thanks!
QuestionMy tubers have a lot of roots growing from them. Should I trim those off?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can trim them off if they bother you, I usually leave mine on.Thanks!
QuestionCan you use sawdust instead of peat moss?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, but you can use dry leaves.Thanks!
QuestionWould the procedure be the same in Hawaii?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, just make sure to monitor the temperature in the region.Thanks!
QuestionIf the plant has grown several bulbs, can I cut them apart and plant them separately?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust make sure there are at least 2 sprouts on each one. It will look like a tiny nipple. This is where the stems will grow.Thanks!
My tubers shrivelled to being very thin over winter. Any comments on if they are alive will help?
When do I bring stored dahlias out for spring planting?
Do I need to separate different colors of dahlia tubers during storage?
Can I use sand to store the bulbs?
What fungicide can I use to prevent grey rot?
To store dahlia bulbs, start by cutting the stems to 6 inches when the first frost arrives. Next, gently loosen the soil around the bulbs. Then, remove the bulbs from the ground, shaking off any excess soil as you lift them up and out of the dirt. Once the bulbs have been rinsed off, place them upside down in a pot, which can be stored in a dry, airy space. After 3 weeks, pack the bulbs into storage containers with peat moss or potting soil, and keep them in an area where the temperatures will be between 39 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Video: How Do I Store Dahlia Tubers? : Fall Gardening
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