American Dahlia Society

News from ADS!

October 2020

The 2020 Season Rounds the Final Turn

Tahoma Surething
Grown and photographed by Tom Sopczak
Here in the Adirondacks we had a heavy frost about three weeks ago. In Virginia, where we are heading, the blooms are still coming. Unless you live in an area where you can comfortably leave the plants in the ground through the end of the year, the plants can now be cut back, and the tubers dug. If you care about names check the tags and keep them with the clumps. If the plants or blooms were disappointing, toss the clump in the garbage, and create space to acquire something new next year.

If you plan to leave the clumps in the ground rather than trying to store them, cut them back, put a baggie or foil over the stump. Then cover the area with a few inches of mulch. You can also tack down the mulch with a sheet of plastic. Ground storage works best when there is decent drainage. If the soil retains moisture, this practice is iffy.

Parkland Rave
Grown and photographed by Tom Sopczak

There are as many ways to store dahlias as there are growers. I have read gardening books from the mid-1800s and the techniques are mostly unique to the authors. Here are some links that may be useful. There are real devotees to the plastic wrap storage method.  These folks wrap the tubers in plastic wrap after dividing and drying the tubers.

This year the COVID virus restricted shows and garden visits. Nevertheless, you can look on the Internet and see what piques your interest. See for example the American Dahlia Society Facebook site. Many local dahlia societies have websites that show dahlias that have grown well in their area.  Here's a list of sites to get you started.

Allen's Moonstone
Grown and photographed by Tom Sopczak

The year 2020 has been a good year for dahlias in most places. This may be because gardeners have had more time to putter in the garden. We hope you have enjoyed growing them and admiring the blooms.

Happy Autumn,
Harry Rissetto

American Dahlia Society |