Overwintering in Michigan

Charlotte, MI

This is my 2nd year growing these plants and the temps here are starting to drop. Last year I stored the plants in their pots in the garage (unheated) and lost all of them.

The Dahlia's I purchased this year are still blooming (some are full of new buds) and from what I can gather they will continue to do so until the first frost. However, I don't know what to do with these once they are finished.

Can these be stored in their pots without worrying about them rotting? If so, would they need to be watered from time to time or just ignored til spring? Do they need it cooler than 60 degrees?

If I remove the bulb is it ok to just store them in a paper bag? Do they need to be stored in a cool or warm place?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Diane

Mentor, OH

I'm certainly no expert but they do need to be dug after the frost. Dahlias are very susceptible to rot. Everyone seems to have their own method of storing. Last year was the first time I made a real effort to save mine. After digging, I washed off the dirt and after drying, I dusted any cuts with garden sulphur. I wait until Spring to divide mine because I have a difficult time locating the eyes. Mine were stored in unsealed, one gallon zip-lok bags with a couple handfuls of a mixture of peat moss, perlite and potting mix. I don't have a place to store them that has the preferred temp of 35-45 degrees, so I put them in the attic underneath the rotating roof vent. I'm guessing the temp was low-mid 50's. I sprayed a small bit of water on the soil mix about every 3 weeks. I only lost 3 all Winter. Biggest problem I had was they started sprouting earlier than I would have liked. If you Goggle "storing dahlias" you will find many methods.

Mentor, OH

I forgot to mention that there are some excellent articles in the "Dahlia Resource Thread " in the sticky at the top of the first dahlia page.

Charlotte, MI

Thank you!

south of Grand Rapid, MI(Zone 5a)

I dig mine after the first frost, wash them, cut off the tubers with a bit of stem remaining and wrap them in saran wrap. Store them in a rubbermaid tub in an unheated room (does get heat from the rest of the house though) In the spring, unwrap...most have sprouts and then plant. I lost very few and it's really easy once you do it.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

sarv48, do you wash the dirt from them? And you split them so each has a bit of stem? How warm is the room they are in?

south of Grand Rapid, MI(Zone 5a)

Yup, I spray them with the hose to wash off any dirt, let them dry and then cut. Each tuber needs an eye to grow the next year. They look like little nubs. I dig, clean, cut and wrap all the same day. If you leave them sit out very long, they tend to lose their firmness. When you wrap them, don't let the individual tubers touch each other. I take a long strip of saran wrap, start with one tuber, roll, then add another, roll and so on until the end of the saran. Then I use duct tape to tape them shut and write the name on the tape. Easy peasy

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Thanks. I used to live at Houghton Lake many years ago. Do love Michigan.

Niles, MI(Zone 5a)

This is my first year for dahlias, mine arrived in three big clumps, shriveled and dirty. Sounds like I got lucky, after I could not figure out just what the "Eyes" were and where they were, I dug a big hole for each one(each had up to 10 tubers ) and set them in the hole and filled it in. had a lot of blooms and am at the time where we are to have a frost this week. They are going to be dig, washed, divided and stored according to the instructions you all have provided.
thanks for all the advice

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

when you dig them up, you will soon see where the eyes were. Either they grew straight up, or you will see the stems coming around from the bottom then up to the soil surface. Thank heavens they do that. I have planted some right side up (pointy end of the tubers down) and still had some eyes that had to sneak around large tubers to get to the sun.

I am surprised you are just now getting frost. Must be in the lower part of the state??

Niles, MI(Zone 5a)

Near South Bend IN, I'll try anything, they finally bloomed , so pretty, thanks

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Good deal!

Charlotte, MI

I'm in Southern Michigan...between Lansing and Battle Creek and have 2 dahlia's still blooming. I love 'em!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I have ice on my pond and heavy frost on the ground. Snow should come soon. Can see it coming down the mountains all around.

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