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Q.Dahlia Tuber Cutting and Re-Planting

Anonymous added on October 30, 2012 | Answered

My Dahlias are being hit by early morning frosts. I normally leave them in the ground all year round. Can I lift them ‘now’, cut them into (say) half, and re-plant them straight away to increase my Dahlia stock? (I know the gardening books say I should lift them, store them, get them into growth in spring, and then separate them as required – but I’m trying to get ahead of the game).

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 30, 2012

Dahlias are normally dug up after the first initial frost and then stored indoors for winter. Only in warm, southern regions can these tubers be left in the ground year round. They can be easily lifted with a garden fork or spade shovel prior to the complete die out of their foliage. Break up the clumps and separate the tubers, allowing them to dry out some before storing, usually about a week or two in a cool, dry area. Then, clip off the foliage, shake off any remaining soil and pack the bulbs in dry peat moss or wood shavings within a brown paper bag or cardboard box. Place them in a dark area with cool room temperatures, like a basement, until spring.

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