Posted on Dec 17, 2023 at 8:03 pm by Oliver C
Dahlias are colorful flowers that brighten up our gardens. To enjoy their beautiful colors year after year, it is important to follow a few steps to store dahlia bulbs during the winter. With the changing seasons and milder winters, there are several methods to protect your dahlias from the cold.
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Overwintering dahlias in the ground
For gardeners who want to avoid the work of digging up the bulbs, it is possible to leave them in the ground during the winter if it is not too harsh. To succeed with this method, here are a few tips:
- Prepare well-drained soil when planting to prevent the bulbs from being waterlogged in winter.
- Plant your dahlias slightly deeper than usual, about 20 centimeters below the surface of the soil.
- In autumn, cut the blackened stems from frost and cover the bulbs with a thick layer of mulch, peat, or dead leaves.
- Add another insulating layer, such as straw or winter fleece, to further protect your dahlias from the cold.
Beware of pests and parasites
Whether you choose to store your dahlia bulbs in containers or in the ground, remember to protect them from animals that may find them appetizing. Bulbs placed in boxes are less exposed to small rodents and other pests than those left in the open field. Here are some tips to protect your dahlias from parasites:
- Regularly check your stored bulbs in containers for any signs of infestation.
- Place traps or repellents near your dahlias if you are concerned about pests attacking them.
- For bulbs left in the ground, surround them with an anti-pest barrier (fine mesh, burlap) to keep rodents and insects away.
Don’t forget to take care of your balcony plants during the winter, especially those sensitive to frost such as tropical plants, Mediterranean plants, succulents, cacti, as well as geraniums and dahlias.
Traditional method: digging up dahlias for winter
For centuries, gardeners have adopted a technique of digging up dahlia bulbs and storing them in a cool, dry place during the cold season.
Here are the different steps to dig up and store your dahlias:
- Wait for the first frost to blacken the foliage, a sign that the plant is going dormant.
- Gently remove the bulbs from the soil, being careful not to damage them.
- Let the tubers dry completely in the open air before placing them in a container.
- Arrange the bulbs in a crate or cardboard box, then cover them with a layer of peat or sphagnum moss.
- If the bulbs start to dry out too much, spray a little water on the peat to maintain moisture.
- Store the container in a cool, dry place away from light until spring.
By following these tips and tricks, your dahlias will be ready to bloom again in spring and enhance your garden.
Feel free to experiment with different methods to find the one that suits your plants and climate best.