General Discussion:

Dahlias sprouting in storage

Messages posted to thread:

Heather17-Mar-04 07:00 PM EST
Glen18-Mar-04 07:47 AM EST 7   
Heather18-Mar-04 09:08 AM EST   
doris18-Mar-04 09:10 PM EST 3   
PatA21-Mar-04 12:07 PM EST 3   
margie09-Sep-06 08:16 PM EST 4   

Subject: Dahlias sprouting in storage
From: Heather
Date: 17-Mar-04 07:00 PM EST

I stored dinner plate dahlias in the basement in bags in a box and just noticed that some of the tubers have large sprouts coming through the holes in bags!! What do I do?? Do I try to plant them inside and under what conditions? Can I cut the sprouts down until I can plant in garden which in my zone is the May 24 weekend Any suggestions would be appreciated

Subject: RE: Dahlias sprouting in storage
From: Glen
Zone: 7
Date: 18-Mar-04 07:47 AM EST

Heather--we just don't have very good places to store these tender things over the winter...modern houses are all too warm, but it's too cold outside! I have tons of fuchsias, pelargoniums, heliotropes, plus the canna, ginger and dahlia tubers that all could overwinter beautifully in a dry, cool spot that doesn't exist anywhere in my house!

At this point the dahlias have to stay as cold and dry as possible, the sprouts will hopefully stop growing if you can get the tubers out of the bags to totally dry off, or maybe almost dry since they have started into so much growth.

I just checked my dahlias, kept in a layer of bark mulch in one of those cardboard trays for softdrink cans...they are perfect. This is in a cool "pantry" room around 10-15C all winter. The bags sound like a good idea, Heather, but they hold in moisture that prompts the tubers to sprout, esp. if the temps are much above 15C or so. A frost free cold frame would sure work good for this, the potted up tubers could green up and not really grow any more if kept just above freezing.

It's a tough one, just have to find the best of the lousy choices!


Subject: RE: Dahlias sprouting in storage
From: Heather
Date: 18-Mar-04 09:08 AM EST

Thanks Glen, do you think I should pot them up? keep them in dark basement, or put in sunny window to green up?? only second year of trying to store these, so quite the novice!! If I cut down the sprouts, does this mean they won't grow again??

Subject: RE: Dahlias sprouting in storage
From: doris
Zone: 3
Date: 18-Mar-04 09:10 PM EST

Heather, I only have a couple of tubers that I overwintered this year. I noticed them sprouting WEEKS ago. I potted them up (gallon containers--left lots of room above each tuber to add more soil as it grew) and put them under lights in my basement. They're doing fine. After they developed their second set of true leaves, I pinched them so they'd branch out.

Starting them this early may not be a bad thing, depending on your zone, and whether or not you're able to give them sufficient light before setting them out. In Calgary, where I live, frost can come early in the fall. By starting the tubers now (or even earlier), there's the chance of blooms in the summer before frost hits the plants! As a matter of fact, there's a gardener in Calgary who grows fabulous dahlias every year that are in full bloom in time for our Horticultural Society garden competition in early August. He starts his tubers (under lights) sometime in February--just as I was forced to do this year.

Good luck with your dahlias!

Subject: RE: Dahlias sprouting in storage
From: PatA
Zone: 3
Date: 21-Mar-04 12:07 PM EST

I agree with Doris. I work at a greenhous and we potted up Dahlias back at the start of March so go ahead. It sure beats the alternative of pale stretched weak growth and no Dahlias now you've gotten them this far along! Besides you reminded me by your note that I have my own to plant too! Ha ha.

Good luck with them Heather!

Subject: RE: Dahlias sprouting in storage
From: margie (
Zone: 4
Date: 09-Sep-06 08:16 PM EST

With the basements being too warm I was wondering if one could put the dahlias in the fridge in the basement?????

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