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Dahlias: rootbound Dahlias from the nursery

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michaelangelo
Brainerd, MN

May 19, 2010
7:15 PM

Post #7808963

I just bought several 3-packs of Dahlias from the local nursery and they are very rootbound from the small compartments they were started in. Do I rough up the roots before potting up, like I would for many other plants, or drop them in as they are. One thing that is diferent from many plants of course are the small bulbs, which I assume I don't want to remove. Any advice on this as well as advice on feeding is much appreciated, so thanks in advance.
Poochella
Issaquah, WA
(Zone 7a)

May 19, 2010
8:08 PM

Post #7809177

Maybe gently "rough up" the bound roots without disturbing or disconnecting the little bulbs, just to give the roots some new direction for which to aim. I believe they'll sort themselves out in time and a larger space. Give them a home of well-drained soil, water in and away you go. I'm a big fan of transplant solution nowdays. B1 and scant minerals, sometimes some rooting hormones depending on brand. Go low on the nitrogen in any fertilizer you might give them, and I'd delay that til they get accustomed to their new surroundings.

What kind of dahlias are these?
michaelangelo
Brainerd, MN

May 20, 2010
12:48 AM

Post #7809647

Poochella... thanks for the advice. (I believe you have helped me out with advice in the past and it's always good). I'm not sure what you are suggesting I feed them (B1?) and what brand root stuff would you recommend. These were just 3 for $1.97 packs - the label stick says they are known as Hello Gorgous Mix, but that probably doesn;t really tell you much. I think they are THE most beautiful of flowers (all bazillon varieties) but I have had awful luck starting them form tubers or seeds.
Poochella
Issaquah, WA
(Zone 7a)

May 20, 2010
7:08 AM

Post #7810140

What a bargarin for those bright little dahlias! I wouldn't run out and get a starter solution just for them, but something low in nitrogen, higher in phosphorous to encourage new root growth.
Here's an easy method to make your own.
http://www.farms.com/FarmsPages/ENews/NewsDetails/tabid/189/Default.aspx?NewsID=29162

How are you starting your tubers or seeds that you have awful results?
michaelangelo
Brainerd, MN

May 20, 2010
7:16 AM

Post #7810167

Thanks so much Poochella. The seeded Dahlias actually grew fine (I was just disappointed in what they looked like). The tubers I tried starting in large (14"?) pots. NOTHING. They just sat there waiting and eventually rotted, I think.
Poochella
Issaquah, WA
(Zone 7a)

May 20, 2010
7:52 AM

Post #7810248

Did the tubers in large pots have eyes for sure? Perhaps too cold, or too wet for them, if so. Try the baggie method next time! Little bit of soil/mix in a ziploc, little bit of water to barely moisten, plunk tuber in, place in bright window and wait. Once they show signs of life, you can pot them up or wait and plant outdoors.
michaelangelo
Brainerd, MN

May 20, 2010
8:09 AM

Post #7810291

Thanks again Poochella!!!
michaelangelo
Brainerd, MN

May 20, 2010
12:32 PM

Post #7811136

I potted these up from the nursey pack to 22 oz plastic beverage cups I suppose the cups are a bit tall but they seem to work OK for other seedlings) with three large holes at he bottom. The dahlias are now about 5-6" tall. I just gave them a feed with Schultz's high phosphorus fert granules (at half strength) although already some of them are blooming

This message was edited May 20, 2010 2:12 PM
michaelangelo
Brainerd, MN

May 24, 2010
11:08 AM

Post #7823012

After potting these up to 22 oz plastic cups (with large holes in the bottom) barely a week ago, quite a few seem ready for another pot-up. The plastic pots I have abailable (I don't want to have to buy anything more) are 8" diameter at the top (7" high) and 10" diameter at the top (9" high).

I want to put 2, 3 or even four plants to a pot for maximum (allowable) crowding and color. What size pot do you guys think I should use? Do they prefer the pot to be smaller (their roots to be somewhat "crowded" as I understand some plants need)?

I gave them 1/2 diluted dose of 10-50-10 when I potted them last week. Would you feed them again on this second pot up.

These are small Dahlias ("Hello Gorgeous Mix" about 2-3" classic flower and also Harliquin mix, about the same size flower).

Hope I can get some advice on this oon so I can get moving. I'm bored and it's raining :-)
Poochella
Issaquah, WA
(Zone 7a)

May 24, 2010
3:11 PM

Post #7823725

Hi Michaelangelo, according to this site
http://www.harrisseeds.com/storefront/p-1122-dahlia-hello-gorgeous-mix.aspx they spread 9". I don't grow the little fellows, but my instinct says only 1 per pot in your stated size as the roots will be vying for both water and nutrition. I don't know. Can you do an experiment with 3 per 9" pot, and some single plants in others and crowd the pots together for a blast of color? I think you'd get the most out of each plant giving them more room by planting 1 per pot, but the effect of multiple colors might be nice too. I vote for planting some both ways and then you'll see how they do for future reference. They don't call me "Miss Decision" around here for nothing :)
michaelangelo
Brainerd, MN

May 24, 2010
3:37 PM

Post #7823792

unless someone has hard knowledge to the contrary, i think trying both is a very good idea thanks!

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