I've done two Advanced Searches and can't find the explanation.
Why are we supposed to remove the bottom leaves on dahlias?
The reason(s) I could think off, is to promote air circulation, thus helping in preventing mildew and other fungal diseases.
look at this link and scroll down to May. I didn't know this and I didn't do it. Maybe I will walk out in the 90+ weather and take care of this, NOT!
This message was edited Jul 11, 2010 10:38 AM
Thanks, Tex. That makes sense though I'm sure there's another reason.
Thanks, Nery. It did say to remove the lower leaves but gave no explanation.
Just went through pages of Poochella and BigcityAl's threads and couldn't find a thing about it.
i thought it said the reason was to make it busher, though I don't see how the removal of lower leaves would contribute. Mind you, I broke my glasses and I'm having a little trouble reading....
To make it bushier the growing tip is pinched thereby "breaking the apical dominance" - giving two growing points instead of one.
you are right! I went and reread and doesn't say reason for removal of bottom leaves. I need my glasses.
Ya what Tex said. I read that somewhere but I can't remember where.
Depending how tall your dahlias are or how close you planted them, I'll give a clearance of 12-18 inches.
I also do this to other plants/perennials as I just pack everything so close. Also gives them a tidier appearance.
I don't worry too much about other perennials cuz its so dry.
I asked this question some time back too, Pirl, and promotion of air circulation was the only reason I recall. I've never done it, and have never had any issues. My garden is pretty crowded, but I typically just stick Dahlias here and there throughout the garden beds and not all together, so maybe that helps keep pathogens from jumping from one plant to the next. Dahlias just seem to like growing here, perhaps its more important in some areas of the country than others?
I've been removing the lower leaves of my dahlias as they start looking scruffy. Never knew it was something we're "supposed" to do, it just becomes a necessity, haha! Mine are all in pots, grouped together on the patio where I can keep an eye on them.
The answer came from Poochella who said we remove the leaves (as said above) for better air circulation, to help prevent mildew and in order to get watering wands in to water the dahlias.