dahlias that are hardy in zone 7a? How to transplant??

Raleigh, NC

dumb question - because I've got some. I haven't lifted them in 3 years, and they keep coming back! We've just had one of the coldest winters ever in this area, too.

BUT - I don't like them. The bloom is smaller and duller in color than the tag indicated. I'd like to dig them, pot them up, and sell them at our garden club sale since they are hardy in this area. (I didn't think there were any that are!) But I know zip about dahlias.

Suggestions on the best way to do this?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The reason for their very poor performance is because they weren't dug up and split. They would continue to get smaller and die without dividing.

Check out the sticky thread at the start of the Dahlias Forum for the one on dividing. It's rather late now to be planting them.

Raleigh, NC

Thanks pirl sounds like I need to learn about dahlias. will check the sticky

but I didn't like the color or bloom size the first year either. Nor did I know how tall they'd grow. Planted them too close to and in front of the roses. They have to be moved. Now, before another rose dies.

Is it too late to dig them and divide and pot them up for sale? I'd hate to dig and compost them. Someone else will like them.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You can dig them up and definitely do it rather than risk another rose dying. They won't be easy to split unless you get lucky so beware that they may end up as compost. I had to take a cleaver to one I couldn't split, early this spring, and it's now better than ever.

Good luck.

Port Norris, NJ(Zone 7b)


I had the same dilemma with my peonies. I listened
to the advice that it was too late to dig them. Now I
wish I had followed my own instincts cause the roots
are getting crushed by an invasive tree (who knows how
it got in there in the first place).

The biggest risk is shock. So dig them out with the largest
amount of soil around the roots as you can and put into
an adequate sized pot. Store them in a shady area until
you decide whether you want to sell or just replant in the
fall. The soil itself is much to hot to successfully plant
anything you want to live.

And.... if you decide to sell - let me know what color
the dahlia is I just might want to purchase them myself!

Raleigh, NC

LOL - just read some of the threads - now I understand what you meant by dividing! I wasn't sure when I responded above.

these are like irises - they need division. Well, darn! I just thought they needed winter protection! No wonder the rose died! these must have increased underground and would really be crowding those roses! Yikes! I've got to get them outta there!

Raleigh, NC

cris - these are a pale mauve color - my eyesight is so bad, the colors need to be bright for me to see them, so they will be potted up and sold off.

I have plenty of 3 gal pots for them to go into.

pirl, since I'm going to cleave and then pot up, rather than letting the cuts dry off, which would cause the main foliage to die, do you think I could just treat the cuts with comet or sulfur, like I would an iris I was moving at this time of year?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Sure, you could treats the cuts with sulfur or Comet or Lysol, etc. Then let them dry and repot.

Add a little plant food to the soil so they'll hopefully respond immediately.

Don't be shocked at the size of the tuber, which will probably be a massive ball, when you dig it.

Raleigh, NC

oh! Dear me - I'd better get teenager to help too, then!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My guess is that the tuber ball will be a bit smaller than the size of a basketball but awkward to dig around and under in order to lift it and not hurt the rose at the same time. Any stray pieces with leaves will grow so be sure to get them out of there.

Raleigh, NC

will do.

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