Dahlia Hibernation

Over the last couple of years we have increased our dahlia collection, some bought, some begged and borrowed.  Big blousy dinner plate ones (didn’t read the small print just loved the colour), subtle species, a few grown from seed, with dark or green foliage, cactus flowered or simple and a couple seemed to just appear.  Great, so what’s the problem? Well, the moral maze at this time of the year is whether to dig them up and overwinter indoors or to leave undisturbed in the ground and hope for the best.  Last year I removed one clump of Dahia coccinea and left another clump in the ground, heavily mulched.  I am sure I don’t need to remind you that it was a little nippy last winter, in fact by this time last year the permafrost had formed.  Well both survived, the outdoor specimen was perhaps a week or two at the most behind the indoor version.  As I am far too much of a coward to put all my dahlias into one basket the plan is this: make sure we have an example of each dahlia nicely tucked up in an old cardboard box in the greenhouse, covered with a dry mulch duvet and in the spring look out for those gorgeous little buds forming.  The rest will be mulched and will have to tough it out.


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