Dahlias are hardy to Zone 8, which makes them tender in our 7a-5b gardens. (Depending on where you live in Western North Carolina, your garden falls into one of these zones.) Most dahlia growers dig up the tubers in fall, after a few touches of frost (when the stems are black), and either divide then or wait for spring, replanting after the chance of frost is gone.
Will the dahlia tubers survive if I don’t dig them up?
Maybe. If you’ve lived in WNC long enough, you know the winters can be mild, or the winters can be a bear. If you decide to the skip the digging (I never dig my dahlias up except for division), you chance losing them. Many people treat them as annuals and budget purchasing more each spring. They don’t stress if winter kills them.
Still, like all perennials, division is necessary every three years or the dahlias will stop flowering. (For how to divide perennials, click here.)
Follow the steps below for storage (and dividing).
Written by Cinthia Milner, garden coach and blog writer.
BB Barns Garden Center serves all of Western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina and Tennessee.