Dahlia Bulbs – How to Overwinter

Dahlias are very popular, late summer flowering bulbs. They come in a wide range of colours & sizes so there is one to suit every gardener. Growing Dahlia can takeĀ  little bit of practice but with time & experience you can grow this rewarding plant in your garden with repeat blooms year after year.

Dahlia Bulbs

The first thing to remember with Dahlia bulbs is that they are tender bulbs & will need to be brought in out of the cold for the winter months. This means that come autumn, once the flowers have withered and the foliage has die back you can start preparing for winter.

To Overwinter Your Dahlias

  1. Cut back all the foliage to within an inch of ground level once the foliage has died back
  2. Cut back the flowering stems to approx. 2 inches above ground level
  3. You can do this around the time of the first frosts in October
  4. You can now carefully lift the tubers from the ground
  5. Use a garden fork to loosen the soil & bulbs
  6. Slowly lift the fork to bring the tubers to the surface
  7. Gently lift the bulbs & carefully remove any clumps of soil
  8. Handle bulbs with care to avoid bruising
  9. Bruises can lead to rotting of the bulbs
  10. Now you can dry the bulbs
  11. To do this, place the bulbs upside down on a sheet of cardboard
  12. Leave in a cool, ventilated place for 2 weeks
  13. To overwinter your bulbs place them in dry sand or compost
  14. Store in a cool location free from frost
  15. A shed, greenhouse or garage would be suitable
  16. Once the warm weather returns in spring you can replant the bulbs
  17. If you have lots of different varieties remember to label them as you go

Other Growing Tips For Dahlia bulbs

  • Choosing the best location:
  • Ideally sow in full sun for best results
  • Dahlias are happy in most soils. Ideally slightly acidic soils and avoid damp & water logged sites
  • You can sow your dahlias in spring once the last frost has passed, when sowing dig a small hole about 3 times the depth of the bulb and position the bulbs with the growing tips or old stalks pointing upwards