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16/10/2012 at 23:15

When I first speak to a client about redesigning their garden I always ask them to be honest about how much time and money they wish to spend in their garden,

Dahlias are on my high maintenance list and I would not recommend them to any client who is not willing to put in the time. The combination of staking/feeding and dead heading plus the pests that they attract requires some effort. 

Although I am based in Cornwall which is milder than most areas, the above average rainfall that we experience means that dahlias are prone to rotting if left in the ground over winter, so I prefer to lift them and store them in the greenhouse, this also means that they get a head start in spring.

Some of my clients who are more affluent seem quite happy to use them as disposable bedding and they are willing for the local nursery to do all the hard work, which is another option.

Anyway I wish you all good luck with them next year.

16/10/2012 at 23:41
Hello Cornishchris. I'm based in Cornwall too and until yesterday my name was christopher2. There is also a CRISTOPHER2 also based in Cornwall so I had to change my name. It's a weird situation but posters think I'm making this up and blocking me. You may be blocked too because they think I'm you? I'm hoping the forum editor will sort this problem
17/10/2012 at 08:59

CornishCris, I so agree with you about Dahlias. I absolutely love the open flowered varieties because they are a magnet for bees.  Last year I lifted and stored the tubers but they all died. This year I am leaving them in the ground because I cant be bothered with all the hassle of overwintering them. They are high maintenance, attracting pests and needing staking. Next year I am going to buy new tubers but will try and go for the shorter varieties and those that the pests leave alone.

17/10/2012 at 13:46

Dahlias are lovely and so worth the effort, but up here in the north east of Scotland they can be really tricky to lift ( once frosted ) and dry out and store.  More often than not even storing them upside down in a greenhouse will result in rot. Here's what I do:

1. Once frost turns foliage black, cut back, lift tubers, shake off as much soil as possible

2. Get them indoors, in a garden sieve and put them on top of the boiler or somewhere with an even gentle heat to dry out ( airing cupboard for instance )

3. Once COMPLETELY dry and looking wizened, I wrap them in newspaper and store them in cat litter!  This is, of course, highly absorbent and your tubers should come through the winter and be ready to plant out into pots the following spring.  The slightest trace of moisture and they will rot.

We used to have cats and when they'd 'gone' to the Great Litter Tray In The Sky we had a big brewing-bin in the boiler room full of unused kitty litter - and the dahlias have never looked back!  I do have to leave myself notes hither and yon, to remind me of their existence, but good old fuller's earth does seem to do the trick.

 

19/10/2012 at 13:35

Hello! I am new to GW. Today I lifted 6 dahlia tubers from my pots. They were bought as small bedding plants in May and I am amazed at the size of the tubers. I have washed them and will dry and store.  What I want to ask is am I wasting my time as the plants flowered first time then made loads of buds which didn't open. I suspect Thrips or some virus. Will this affect the tubers and the health of the plants next year? They look marvellous so I hope not.

19/10/2012 at 13:41
Susan O'Meara wrote (see)

Hello! I am new to GW. Today I lifted 6 dahlia tubers from my pots. They were bought as small bedding plants in May and I am amazed at the size of the tubers. I have washed them and will dry and store.  What I want to ask is am I wasting my time as the plants flowered first time then made loads of buds which didn't open. I suspect Thrips or some virus. Will this affect the tubers and the health of the plants next year? They look marvellous so I hope not.


I doubt that it was either-this should not affect the tubers-lack of sun and warmth has been the problem this year-they are not native to this country but originate in Mexico which explains a lot

20/10/2012 at 17:35

Thanks Christopher2! I do love dahlias. I grew up in Nottingham and the Arboretum garden had an amazing long border of dahlias, all named and it looked like a huge rainbow. My main problem this year has been the endless rain. Although the dahlias have flowered, now I've lifted the tubers I've discovered quite a lot of rot. I've divided them as best I can and am drying them out before packing. I may just have to invest in more for next year.

02/11/2012 at 15:51
Is it safe to split dahlia tubers when you have lifted and dried them? I have one that is very big, I think maybe there are two that have joined together but I don't want to destroy them by splitting them, will it work OK?
02/11/2012 at 15:56
Ina Clarke wrote (see)
Is it safe to split dahlia tubers when you have lifted and dried them? I have one that is very big, I think maybe there are two that have joined together but I don't want to destroy them by splitting them, will it work OK?


You can -but I would leave it until next year when they are started back into growth and you see where the shoots are coming from then just divide them into how many sections you like

06/11/2012 at 15:39

I lifted mine today and will allow to slow dry in the green house. As per other years they will then be placed in bags  (holes in the top)  and labled. I store mine in the cellar where they remain until late march and then divide and plant in pots in the un heated green house. I like the idear of using cat litter, might just try this. I live in Bucks.

 

JOHN

06/11/2012 at 16:56

I find that some Dahlias are OK outside in winter  and others don't survive. Park Princess is still going strong after about 18 years, 3 of them, and I've never dug them up. I have a big cream semi-cactus that comes up every year. It's about 10 years old. Arabian Night I planted in 2006, it was a bit small this year, but it went down to -17° in February, and stayed below freezing for over a week and it snowed. I sowed Bishop's Children and several survived the winter outside.  2  red and white stripey ones were OK too. Bishop of Landaff is not hardy, it always dies in winter and so have several others that I've forgotten the names of over the years. I live in Dordogne so the summers are longer than in the UK and hotter, but the winters are often very cold, -10° is fairly normal, and it can rain a lot.

06/11/2012 at 17:07

I lift my dahlias after the first frost (last week), wash and dry them thoroughly. Then they go into a wooden vegi crate (labelled) into the cellar (ca. 10-15°C). In Spring they are completely shrivelled up, but I soak them in a bucket for a few hours and plant out. Haven't lost any yet (touch wood!)

22/11/2012 at 12:44
Do you need to dust the tubers when dry with anti fungal powder before storing?
22/11/2012 at 12:47
sueschles2 wrote (see)
Do you need to dust the tubers when dry with anti fungal powder before storing?

I never have-so would not consider it essential

08/09/2013 at 09:59

I have bumped this so people can see it

 

I think I will store mine (one plant) wrap in news paper upside down in a paper bag in the garage frost free and dry 

I've only got one so no real hardship if it dies But what a stunning plant so fingers crossed 

 

James

08/09/2013 at 11:45

I often take seed from my dahlias to increase my stock,but also lift the tubers and dry off the store them in a dry place.i also do it with my elephant ears.

11/12/2013 at 19:27
first year with dahlias I lifted and stored as suggested but lost all with rot so last year I left them all in covered with some hay from rabit cage out of 10 9 gave great show have done same again this year hoping for same results.al
12/12/2013 at 11:09

I am in the east midlands and have three dahlias i grew from seed.

they have remained in the soil with an upturned plant pot filled with leaves over them for two winters now.

I do not use pestesides, and have had no other problems with them.

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