Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Winterize Dahlias

dahlia image by Luc FLANDROIT from

The dahlia flower is a needy but beautiful blooming plant. These delicate plants cannot survive even a single frost. It is vital that they be winterized before the first frost or dip in temperatures. To avoid this procedure, many dahlia owners in colder climates choose to plant in pots so they can be easily moved indoors during cold temperatures.

sécateur de jardin image by YvesBonnet from

Winterize before the first frost in the region. Cut the dahlia using pruning shears at the base. Dahlias respond well to pruning. Check to be certain that all upper parts of the plant have been removed.

Digging in the garden image by dquinnan from

Dig the bulb from the ground using either a hand shovel or a spade shovel. Remove the entire bulb without scraping the bulb sides. Such damage can cause an entrance spot for disease. Brush the extra soil from the flower bulb.

water in a sink image by terex from

Wash the dahlia bulb in water to remove all dirt debris. Dirt and soil left on the bulb will invite disease into the bulb during storage. Dry the bulb completely with paper towels or an ordinary kitchen towel.

storage room image by Vonora from

Place the bulb in a dark and dry location. Usually a basement works best to accomplish the colder temperature desirable for bulb storage. Just a few degrees above freezing is ideal for optimal hibernation.

sprouting bulbs image by Gail Oswald from

Replant the bulb in the spring. Water generously and wait for your blooms to grow.


Before replanting, prepare the soil with proper fertilizer.

Garden Guides