How to Store Dahlia Tubers: Expert Tips for Longevity.

To store dahlia tubers, dig them up after the first frost and trim foliage down to 6 inches. Dahlias are beautiful flowering plants that grow from tubers, which are essentially edible roots.

If you live in an area with cold winters, it is necessary to dig up your dahlia tubers and store them indoors in a cool, dry, and dark place to protect them. Properly stored dahlia tubers will stay healthy and alive for planting come spring.

In this article, we’ll give you a simple guide on how to store dahlia tubers correctly and increase your chances of a beautiful garden next year.

How to Store Dahlia Tubers: Expert Tips for Longevity.


When And Where To Dig Dahlia Tubers

Dahlia tubers require adequate storage to ensure the best growth results in the following planting season. Proper storage requires digging up the tubers at the correct time, handling them with care, and storing them in a suitable environment. In this section, we will discuss the key factors for digging up and storing dahlia tubers, starting with the right time and place to dig up the tubers.

Discussing The Proper Time To Dig Up Dahlia Tubers

The proper time to dig up dahlia tubers is in the fall, after the first frost has killed off the foliage. The ideal time is within two weeks of the first frost, as this ensures the tubers are in good condition.

Digging up the tubers too early could result in underdeveloped tubers, while digging too late could result in rotting or infected tubers. It is important to mark the plant location before digging up the tubers to avoid accidentally damaging them.

Preparing For The Digging Process

Before digging up dahlia tubers, it is important to prepare for the process to ensure you handle the tubers with care and avoid damaging them.

  • Have the necessary tools ready, such as a digging fork, a shovel, and garden gloves.
  • Ensure the soil around the plants is moist to avoid damaging the tubers.
  • Prepare a suitable storage space that is cool, dry, and well-ventilated.

Discussing The Proper Digging Techniques

Proper digging techniques are critical for the continued success of dahlia tubers.

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  • Start by cutting off the foliage at ground level and gently lifting the tubers from the ground using a digging fork. Avoid using a spade as it may damage the tubers.
  • Shake off any excess soil from the tubers and leave them in the sun for a few hours to dry up.
  • Divide the tubers by separating healthy ones from those that are decaying or infected. Each tuber should have at least one healthy eye, from where new growth will emerge.
  • Store the tubers in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place, such as a basement or garage, in boxes lined with newspaper or sawdust.

Digging up dahlia tubers at the correct time, preparing for the digging process, and following the proper digging techniques is crucial to ensure healthy and thriving plants in the upcoming season. With these simple guidelines in mind, you can give your dahlia tubers the care they need to thrive.

Curing Process

Explanation Of The Curing Process And How To Do It

Curing is a process that enables dahlia tubers to properly mature and develop into healthy plants the following season. It involves digging up the tubers and letting them dry in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated area for a period of time.

  • After the first frost, use a garden fork to carefully loosen the soil around the dahlia plant.
  • Gently lift the tubers from the soil, being cautious not to damage them.
  • Cut the stalks down to 4-6 inches.
  • Place the tubers in a warm area for a couple of days to let them dry out a bit.
  • Clean off any dirt or debris from the tubers.
  • Place the tubers in a cardboard box or container and cover them with a dry material such as sawdust or vermiculite.

Importance Of Correct Temperature And Humidity

The correct temperature and humidity is crucial for the success of the curing process.

  • Temperature: During the curing process, it’s essential to keep the tubers at a consistent temperature of around 10°c (50°f) for a minimum of two weeks, with a maximum of four weeks. If the temperature fluctuates too much, it may cause the tubers to rot, fail to produce shoots, or bloom poorly in the next season.
  • Humidity: Ideally, the humidity level should be around 70%. If it’s too high, the tubers may develop mold. On the other hand, if it’s too low, the tubers may dry out too quickly, leading to problems with sprouting later on.

Length Of Time Required For Curing

The length of time required for curing dahlia tubers depends on various factors such as the climate, temperature, and humidity. However, a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of four weeks can be considered for storing dahlia tubers to cure before the next planting season.

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To sum it up, curing dahlia tubers is an important part of storing them for the next season. Make sure that the temperature and humidity levels are correct while curing the tubers for the recommended time. This process will ensure successful and healthy plants for the following season.

Choosing The Right Storage Location

Discussing The Ideal Storage Location For Dahlia Tubers

Dahlia tubers are ideal for storing over the winter months, but to ensure their longevity and quality, it’s essential to select the right storage location.

  • A dry and cool location: Choose a dry and cool location with a consistent temperature range of 35°f to 50°f. This can be any place in your home, from the basement to the garage, as long as the location is dry with low humidity levels.
  • Avoid damp areas: Avoid choosing a damp location, especially if there are fluctuations in temperature. The tubers can rot easily and lose their quality.
  • Dark location: Dahlia tubers should be stored in a dark location without any exposure to sunlight. Sunlight can stimulate growth of new shoots, weakening the tubers.
  • Rodent-free area: Rodent damage is one of the most common reasons for the failure of storing dahlia tubers. Make sure to store them in a location that is inaccessible to rodents.

Temperature And Humidity Requirements

Maintaining the ideal temperature and humidity is crucial when it comes to storing dahlia tubers.

  • Temperature range: As mentioned earlier, the ideal temperature range for storing dahlia tubers is 35°f to 50°f. If the temperature goes higher, the tubers will start to dry out. On the other hand, if it goes lower, the tubers can freeze, causing them to rot due to excess moisture.
  • Humidity levels: Maintaining adequate humidity levels is important in preventing the tubers from drying out and shriveling. Aim for a humidity level of 50-60% to ensure the tubers’ survival. To increase humidity, one can use damp sand or moss to surround the tubers.
  • Avoid using plastic bags: Avoid storing tubers in plastic bags as it can trap excess moisture, creating a breeding ground for disease.

How To Choose The Right Storage Container

When it comes to choosing the right storage container for your dahlia tubers, there are certain things to keep in mind.

  • Airflow: Dahlia tubers need some airflow during storage, so it’s important to choose a container that allows some circulation. One can use a cardboard box or a mesh container for the same.
  • Layering: While storing tubers, avoid layering them on top of each other. Layering creates pressure and can cause damage to the tubers. Instead, store them in single layers or use a storage container with individual compartments.
  • Label the container: Make sure to label your storage container with the variety of dahlia and any other relevant information like the planting date and color of the bloom. Storing them without labels can lead to confusion later.
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By following these guidelines, storing dahlia tubers over the winter months will be a breeze!

Proper Storage Techniques

Explanation Of Best Storage Techniques For Dahlia Tubers

Storing dahlia tubers during the winter is crucial for next year’s blooms.

  • Dig up the dahlia tubers before the first frost of the season. Cut off the stems leaving about 6 inches and shake off any excess soil.
  • Let the tubers dry for a day in a warm, dry place. Once they are completely dry, label each tuber with the cultivar name and store them in a dark, cool, and dry place.
  • You can also store the tubers in containers filled with dry peat moss or vermiculite. Place the tubers in the container and cover them with more peat moss or vermiculite. Store the container in a cool and dark place.

Importance Of Proper Ventilation

It’s essential to provide proper ventilation during the storage of dahlia tubers. Proper airflow helps to prevent the tubers from rotting.

  • Never store the tubers in airtight containers. The lack of airflow can create a moist environment that can lead to rotting and disease.
  • Store the tubers in a cool and dry place with good air circulation, such as a well-ventilated basement or garage.
  • Check the tubers periodically throughout the winter. Discard any that show signs of rotting or disease to prevent the spread to healthy tubers.

What To Avoid During The Storage Process

To ensure that your dahlias will bloom for years to come, it’s crucial to avoid some common mistakes during the storage process.

  • Do not expose the tubers to direct sunlight or frost. Both can damage the tubers.
  • Avoid storing the tubers near fruit or potatoes, which can release ethylene gas. This gas can cause the tubers to sprout prematurely.
  • Do not store the tubers in areas where the temperature fluctuates dramatically, which can cause damage to the tubers.

By following these best storage techniques, ensuring proper ventilation, and avoiding common mistakes during the storage process, you can ensure the survival of your dahlia tubers and enjoy beautiful blooms in the spring.


Ensuring the right storage conditions for dahlia tubers is vital to maintaining their health and beauty. Proper storage preparation begins with allowing the plants to finish their growing cycle before lifting them from the ground. Afterward, removing the excess soil without damaging the tubers and allowing them to dry out completely is essential.

Once they are dried, place the tubers in well-ventilated containers and store them in a cool, dark, dry place. Be sure to monitor them regularly to check for any signs of rotting or mold. Remember to label your containers clearly and keep a record of your tubers.

A well-maintained storage area should enable your dahlias to bloom again in the spring. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy the beauty of dahlias for years to come.