Dahlias and Hydrangeas
Photo © Kerry Michaels
I love dahlias - I even love saying the word...dahlia. It is a flower that is cheerful and somehow makes me feel optimistic, which is strange because have never successfully over wintered them.
Dahlias are fabulous container garden plants but if you live in cold climate, anything less than a zone 8, they can be a tricky to over-winter. They don’t like to be too hot or too cold, to wet or too dry (picky, picky, picky). I have had absolutely no luck in saving my dahlias because all my spaces are too warm or freeze solid – neither of which please dahlias.
There is tons of advice out there on how to store dahlias for the winter, much of it conflicting. What does seem to be agreed on is that after a few frosts, you should dig up your dahlias, cut off the stems and then clean up and store the tubers you will be left with. It is also widely agreed that they like to spend their winters in a dry, but not too dry, area that is between 40-50°F, so an unheated basement or garage can work - if it doesn't freeze.
For more info on dahlias The American Dahlia Society is a great web site to check out.