How to lift and store dahlias

Do it:

Sep, Oct, Nov

Takes just:

30 minutes

Although, in some areas, dahlia tubers have survived the recent mild winters outside, it's well worth lifting and storing them. Discover how you can ensure a bumper crop of dahlias for next summer, whatever the weather.

You will need

  • Secateurs
  • Garden fork
  • Dry compost
  • Storage box or container


Dig all around the dahlia clump and lift the tubers with a fork, taking great care not to damage them with the spikes. Shake off as much soil as you can. Then, using secateurs, cut down the dahlia stems and compost the leaves.

Rinse off the soil thoroughly, then stand the tubers upside down to dry.

Pack the tubers in a box or pot and cover them with dry compost. Store them in a frost-free place, such as under the greenhouse staging or a dry shed.


If your dahlias are in a warm, sheltered spot in the border and you don't want to lift them, add a thick layer of mulch for extra insulation in winter.

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