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Over-winter Dahlia Tubers
(page 2)

Decision Time

A clump of dahlia tubers It is possible to store the tubers (note that many people refer to a dahlia tuber as a dahlia bulb) immediately they are dug up from the ground - if you want to do it this way, go to the 'Trim The Tubers' using the Quick Finder on the left. The best way however, is to split the dahlia bulb into individual tubers (as this article recommends). 

Splitting the dahlia bulb has the advantage that only the best tubers need to be stored, and individual tubers can be removed from storage if they deteriorate.

Look For The Dahlia 'Eyes' or Growing Points

picture of eyes on a dahlia bulb or tuberThere will be several 'eyes' or growing points on the dahlia tuber and it is important to identify these. A tuber will not sprout unless it has at least one "eye." The eyes are typically found at the top of a tuber on the ridge where the tuber joins the stem. When a tuber is removed from the clump, the ridge containing the eyes must be attached to the tuber. In some cases, this will require taking a piece of the stem as well. In the picture on the right two 'eyes' are marked with an arrow, one 'eye' (to the right) has already formed a shoot. Identify these on your tuber.

Select Good Tubers

Select the best tuber(s) from your dahlia using the rules below.

Not all tubers have "eyes." If a tuber has no visible eye it will probably produce an eye next spring when it is moistened and warmed, then again it may not. Try to save the tubers with visible eyes first. Save the doubtful ones later or discard them. Tubers without eyes may grow roots, as tubers with eyes do, but they will not sprout.

The tuber from which the dahlia plant grows (referred to as the "mother" tuber) sometimes rots and dies and sometimes it lives on. The mother tuber is often darker than the surrounding tubers, Sometimes it may have an eye, but it is best to throw this away.

Reject tubers if the necks are thin and easily broken, these may well rot in storageot sprout.