Dahlias are perennial flowers native to Central America. Like most other perennials, dahlias grow from bulbs rather than seeds. In order to ensure dahlia bulbs survive the winter season and are still able to grow in early spring, they must be properly stored. While they generally have a high success rate naturally, you can increase the survival chances by controlling the environment in which they are stored.
Dig the bulbs out of the soil. Start digging at least three inches away from the plant base to prevent cutting the roots. Loosen the roots from the soil with your hands once you reach the bulb. Pull it out.
Rinse the bulbs under running water. If possible, use a garden hose as the soil runoff can make a mess indoors.
Place the bulbs on a baking sheet and let them dry at room temperature for one to three days, until they begin to feel dry and brittle. The bulbs should be kept away from direct sunlight and cold breezes.
Put the bulbs in a paper bag. Depending on how many bulbs you have, you may need to use multiple bags.
Label the bags with a marker so you remember what is inside of them when the next planting season comes around.
Store the bags in a cool area that stays between 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerators are an ideal location as they typically stay within this temperature range.