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Tip of the Week: Storing Tender Tubers

Dahlias and tuberous begonias won’t survive your winter? Don’t give up on them—put them in winter storage.

Tender tuberous plants are among the easiest to overwinter. Just dig, dry and stow. Don’t forget to replant them next spring!

The plants:

  • Dahlia
  • Canna
  • Elephant’s ears (Alocasia, Calocasia, Caladium)
  • Tuberous begonia
  • Gladiolus
  • Banana (Musa)

The steps:

  • After the first frost has killed the top of the plant, cut back the stems and dig up the tubers. (Exception: dig tuberous begonias before the frost.)
  • Wash any soil off the tubers and let them dry.
  • Place the tubers in net bags (such as the ones potatoes and onions come in), wrap them in newspapers or pack them in peat moss. Be sure to package different plants separately and label each type.
  • Store them in a dark, cool place (35°¬–45°F), such as a cellar, garage or bulkhead. Check on them every few weeks over the winter. Throw out any that show signs of rot.

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