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Common household remedies request

I've been given some dahlia bulbs (tubers?), but I'm told I have to dig them up every winter. That sounds like work!

Do I really have to do that? Or is the person who gave them to me confused, possibly by the idea of splitting bulbs?

Readers, do any of you have experience with dahlias?

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Hookfan's picture
Submitted by Hookfan on

Yep! A lotta work. Most of the gardeners here won't grow them. They grow lilies instead that don't have to be dug or separated every year.

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

Since they were free, how about planting them in big pots or containers? That way they are easier to either bring in during the winter?

As I understand it, they can be killed by freezing and also by excess moisture (like too-wet spring season).

I don't have dahlias but that's what I would try if I did. Or just treat them as an annual.
Another option if you prefer in-ground planting is to plant them inside a wire cage with some sort of handle going up to make them easy to dig out. (Still a lot of work though)

(Hm, just read that you can grow them from seed too ... if you do plant them try saving the seeds...)

thebewilderness's picture
Submitted by thebewilderness on

Like everything else in gardening.

In my area, a temperate zone with sandy soil, the only reason we dig them every year or two is that if we do not the clumps get so large that they take three men and a boy to get them out of there.

If your soil does not drain well they are likely to rot if you leave them in the ground.
If you aren't sure how to manage them I think the pot idea is a good one. Without a free root run they will not flourish, but they will grow and bloom so you can see if you like them well enough to put in the annual effort. Good soil digs easy, and just a few clumps may prove worthwhile for you. They are so flamboyant they are hard to resist.