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How to lift and store dahlias


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.

How to do it


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.

Our tip

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.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to lift and store dahlias
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stoneyford 24/11/2011 at 15:28

I got 6 dahlias in pots is it ok to leave in pot & store in shed & also should i leave or cut off stems. Chris

boleybegbarna 24/11/2011 at 15:28

The danger with leaving them in the pot is that they will rot. What I would do is remove the dahlia from the pot, cut off the stem and dry the tuber as described in the article. Once dry place the Tubers in a tray/pot and cover with dry compost. Then watch Sarah's video on taking cuttings. From my experience taking cuttings is a guaranteed way of increasing your stock of Dahlias for free!

victorial 24/11/2011 at 15:28

I would like someone to answer stoneyford(Chris') comment because I'd also like to ask that question! Thanks Vic.

shihanw 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Last year as a trial I left one Dahlia plant in a pot & it came back this year and it is flowering now. When the leaves were blacken by the frost I cut the top growth and left the tuber in the pot & kept it dry in the greenhouse. Around March I brought them inside onto a sunny windowsill and started watering the tubers and they started to grow. If you keep the pot dry you should be able to leave the tubers in their pots.

amandajb 24/11/2011 at 15:28

is it OK to lift them if they are still in flower ? or should i wait until they die down.

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