If I had to choose my favorite flower, it would be Dahlias. I fell in love with this plant when I moved to Western Washington. Their range of color, form, and size, combined with how well they thrive in this area made it an obvious choice for our perennial flower garden.
My dahlia collection started with a big box store six-pack of tubers a few years ago. In my first few seasons, I didn't tend to them and they sadly didn't thrive. But I've learned from my mistakes and now, three seasons later, I have 18 different varieties of dahlias growing in my garden.
Now that I feel like I'm getting the hang of growing these beautiful plants, I decided to try my hand at digging, dividing, and storing the tubers for winter. My hope is that by doing this, I can quickly expand my dahlia collection and possibly use this as an income stream in the future. As beginning homesteaders, we are constantly searching for ways to build an income portfolio to support our family.
Up until this year, I've always left my dahlias in the ground, and without fail they come back each year. Dahlias are rated to be reliably hardy in USDA Zones 8-11, and our home sits at Zone 8. It is Nov 12th and this is what my solar flair collarette dahlia looks like today.
Guide to overwintering Dahlia tubers
Step 1: Draw a simple sketch of the garden and number each dahlia location.
Step 2: Add descriptions and photos of each variety to the numbered list.
Step 3: Label each plant stalk with the corresponding map number.
Step 4: Cut the stalks to six inches above the ground.
Step 5: Carefully dig up the tuber cluster.
Step 6: Clean the tubers with a hose and let air dry.
Step 7: Divide the tubers ensuring the tubers are undamaged, have s solid neck, and are free of pests.
Step 8: Pack the tubers into a container that allows things to stay dry, good airflow between tubers. Options include pine shavings, peat moss, sand, or plastic.
Step 9: Store in a dark, cool, and dry place until spring.
Step 10: Dream of next year's beauty.