Dahlias are quite possibly THE most loved flower around the world. Growing dahlias flowers becomes quite the addiction, once you start you will not stop!
If you already have dahlia plants in the ground, once the season is finished, lifting and dividing them will provide you with more plants next season and prevent them from rotting in the ground over winter.
When these queens of the garden's flowering season is sadly over and the plants have died back, then it's time to do the unglamorous job of digging and dividing dahlia tubers. This is usually around late autumn to early winter, before it gets to damp and frosty.
We visited Kate from Clifton Blooms Flower Farm last week to talk all things dahlias. Kate showed us how to divide and store the dahlia tubers.
What you will need:
- Sharp secateurs
- Storage container
- Dry medium like vermiculite, sawdust or animal bedding
- If you are storing the dahlia tubers as a whole clump, leave some soil on the tubers, then turn it upside to let the stems drain out any water and place in a cool, dry, dark place over winter.
- If dividing the tubers and then storing, wash off all the dirt with a high pressure hose, this is messy... gumboots needed at this point! Leave to dry, then they will be ready for dividing.
- It's best to remove the mother tuber, she is the oldest looking, generally more wrinkled and the biggest as this one is most likely to rot.
- Divide into mini clumps, each clump needs part of the neck and an eye to then sprout come spring. The eye is a small raised bump just at the base of the neck.
- Remove any damaged tubers.
- Once divided the tubers can be stored in a plastic water proof container full of a dry medium such as vermiculite or sawdust.
- Check regularly over winter to watch for any signs of rot/mould, remove any contaminated tubers from storage.
- Rats and mice love tubers! so make sure they are kept in a rodent proof area.
If you are saving dahlia flower seed, please note the next generation will not be the same as the parent plant, only the tuber plant will remain the same. Saving the dahlia seed is a great way to create unique dahlia flowers.
Register your interest for our dahlias tubers here. They are available around September.