What To Do With Shrivelled Dahlia Tubers

What To Do With Shrivelled Dahlia Tubers?

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What do you do when you find shrivelled Dahlia tubers? This quick little guide will tell you how to get those tubers back into shape quick sharp.

Save Those Tubers!

The best thing to do when you spot a shrivelled tuber is to give it a quick spray with water as soon as possible!

Shrivelled tubers are just a sign that they have dehydrated, which is why misting can help.

If your dahlia tubers are badly shrivelled, then they may be too far gone to be saved. Your best chance is to soak them in water for 24/48 hours before planting.

Once planted, make sure you give them a while before deciding they are done for. Dahlias can take weeks to show signs of life when the weather is still cold.

It is very common for stored dahlias to shrivel up during their dormant months, but you can take a few steps to reduce the chances.

Shrivelled Dahlia Tubers
Shrivelled Dahlia Tubers

Here you can see the different stages of shrivelled dahlia tubers.

The one on the left is probably too far gone and is completely dead, but the other two are still salvageable.

Look at how the one on the left has really deflated and dried up but the other two have just shrivelled a bit.

Storing In Compost

While a lot of people just store the tubers in a box without any medium around them storing in compost can actually prevent them from drying out.

The issue is you need to get the moisture level in the compost right. Too much moisture and the tubers will rot in storage.

You only want there to be a little moisture in the compost and keep an eye on your tubers for signs of rot.

If you do spot rot on any of your tubers, immediately pull them out of storage as the fungus/bacteria can quickly spread to other tubers.

As well as compost you can also do this method using sand.

Misting Throughout Storage

Using a spray gun with a misting head and regularly giving your tubers a spray throughout winter can help to keep them hydrated and prevent them from shrivelling.

Again though this is a balancing act and you don’t want to overdo it and create an environment where your tubers will rot, so be careful.

More on Dahlias

Dahlias are simply stunning summer flowers, the pop pop head produces amazing displays. The plant is a member of the Asteraceae family along with daisies, asters and marigolds.

Usually grown from a tuber but they can also be grown from seed. The tubers require special care over winter here in the UK and many growers end up with an almost fanatical devotion to their dahlias.

Despite being unable to survive winter outdoors in most of the UK, they thrive in our summer conditions. The moderate but wet climate we have is absolutely perfect for them.


Dahlias make the perfect container flower and are commonly grown this way. Growing them in containers also makes preserving the tuber much easier in winter.

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