Storing Dahlias Over Winter
Many types of dahlias do not survive the snowy cold winters here. We have to lift them out of the dirt or purchase new ones come spring. I wrote up a quick guide to digging up and storing dahlias over winter.
Digging Dahlias Out For Winter:
After that first hard frost, the tops will blacken. You should cut the flower stalks 6 inches above the ground.
Then take a pitchfork and push it into the soil working your way in a complete circle about a foot away from the stem.
Now go back and gently pry the clump. Label the stem of each clump with the varieties name and the color.
Set the clump out in the sun to dry the soil. It is best to turn the stem on its side or with the dirt side up to dry it.
Before nightfall, gather up your clumps and shake off any extra soil without damaging your roots. Do not leave them out overnight night for fear of frost.
Storing Preparation and Storage:
1.) Powdered Sulfur – Take each clump and dust with powdered sulfur. This will protect against rot during winter storage.
Powdered sulfur is excellent to use for winter storage flowering bulbs like dahlias and begonias to prevent insects from getting to your bulbs and powdered mildew and black rot during storage.
Wrap in Newspaper – Wrap each clump in dry newspaper and place them into a cardboard box.
Winter Storage – Store them in a dry place with temps between 35-50 degrees.
Spray With Water – Check on your roots every month. If they have shriveled a quick spray of water and they will firm back up.
Planting In Spring:
If you would like to divide your dahlias, now would be the time to do so.
If not, you can go ahead and replant them after the dangers of frost.