I’m thinking about growing dahlias this season. What are their cultural requirements (soil, sun, etc.) and how do I overwinter them?
Dahlias are not only beautiful, but they are also extremely easy to grow. They require at least 6 hours of direct sun a day and enjoy a well-drained, light soil mix. Dahlias can also be grown successfully in large containers for your porch or deck. Like any large-flowered annual, deadheading is important throughout the season, as well as fertilizing every third watering with a water soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer to keep your dahlias blooming all summer.
When the first light frost kills off the top growth, simply dig up the tubers, remove all foliage and stems, wash off any excess soil, and allow to dry on newspaper for a few days. It’s a good idea to dust with Bonide bulb dust to help keep them free from disease. Cover the tubers with dry sphagnum peat in a paper bag or box and store in the basement for the winter. For best results, the bulbs should maintain a 50 degree temperature at all times.