Storing Dahlias Over Winter

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

Digging up and storing dahlias over winterF.D. Richards

Lift Out Dahlias

1.) Lift Out The Dahlias – After the 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 variety’s name and the color.


Dry In Sun

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 at night for fear of frost.


Storing Dahlias Over Winter

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


A clump of dahlia flower tuberous ready to be divided.
Storing Dahlias For Winter F.D. Richards

Wrap In Newspaper

Wrap each clump in dry newspaper and place them into a cardboard box.

Store the bulbs 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 will firm them back up.

Additional Post: Dahlias


Planting In Spring

If you would like to divide your dahlias, now would be the time to do so.

Dahlia flower tubers being divided for spring planting.
Planting Dahlia tubers in a flower garden F.D. Richards

Dividing Tuber Clumps

Divide the tuber clumps in early spring. But, if you want, it can be done in the fall as well.

Cut apart the tubers and place them on separate labeled containers to let them form a scab before planting.


Plant the pointed end of a dahlia tuber facing upright.

Plant Me Correctly

Plant Me Upright – After the chance of frost has passed, it is time to plant.

The arrow point to the end that must be planted facing up.

1.) Dig a large hole 6 to 12 inches deep.

2.) Add compost, or well-rotted manure and mix well into the
bottom of the hole.

3.) Cover with dirt.


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A large pink colored dahlia flower, dahlia tubers and divided dahlia tubers.

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