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Dahlias: Saving the Dahlia Tubers

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haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

October 30, 2011
5:46 AM

Post #8868852

We had an early season snow yesterday of 4" and now temps in the 20's this morn. Do you think I will be able to salvage my dahlia tubers that have not yet been lifted from my gardens? I surely hope they survive as they were gorgeous this year and I have had them for many years already. It is supposed to get up close to 50 this week and if the snow melts and I dig them, do you think they will still be okay?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts,
Candee

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 30, 2011
6:10 AM

Post #8868875

Yes, they should be fine unless you cut them back already and open stems allowed the snow inside. Otherwise they should survive just fine. Many people wait two full weeks after a hard frost before digging.
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

October 30, 2011
1:50 PM

Post #8869427

Whew, thanks, I had not cut them back at all except for snipping flowers for arrangements.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 30, 2011
2:48 PM

Post #8869471

One year I cut them all back in preparation for the first frost in mid November and instead we got snow. I lost every one of them. Some lessons we learn the hard way!
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

October 30, 2011
2:51 PM

Post #8869473

Oh I am so sorry what a huge loss. I hate to lose even a few tubers over the winter when saved in grocery bags.
I did go out and snip the blooms to save for a final arrangement, but no cutting of the main stems thank goodness.

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 30, 2011
2:53 PM

Post #8869475

So pretty!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 30, 2011
3:46 PM

Post #8869539

Really lovely. What is the steaked one called?
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

October 30, 2011
4:58 PM

Post #8869637

Thanks, no idea of the names, sorry, I am terrible at that!

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GardenDroid
Puyallup, WA

January 13, 2012
6:02 AM

Post #8965824

Figured I would try and reboot this threat for the new year.

Anyone checking up on tubers? Now might be a good time to see how they've been overwintering, if you have then dug and stored. I pulled my box out of the garage, out of 25 or so wrapped tubers only one was mushy, and none of them had sprouted despite our warmer-than-usual December and January. Considering myself lucky so far.

How is everyone else faring?
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

January 14, 2012
4:08 AM

Post #8967020

Well, now that you mention it, I should go take a peek! Thanks for bumping this up!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

January 14, 2012
6:08 AM

Post #8967097

I should look, too.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 15, 2012
10:32 AM

Post #8968614

Several rotten, many sprouting. Ordered more from aswan river tobreplace losses.
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

January 16, 2012
7:11 AM

Post #8969699

Mine are in a box layered in newspaper and if the first 2 layers are any indication, I am going to have dahlias out the wazoooooo this season as they are all firm and lovely!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 16, 2012
2:08 PM

Post #8970251

Congrats. What temp and moisture are they stored in. I thinkmine were too green
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

January 17, 2012
4:38 AM

Post #8970948

Not any moisture at all, as I said layered in newspapers. They are in an upstairs bedroom that gets no heat and no humidity this time of year so the temp is about 50.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 17, 2012
4:37 PM

Post #8971888

Amazing...thanks
MyRee
Brigham City, UT
(Zone 5b)

January 17, 2012
6:56 PM

Post #8972107

I just visited a wonderful gardening friend. She is the owner of Secrest Gardens in Brigham City. She is so knowledgeable and shares readily. She just gave me 3 different DP tubers. I saw the plants last year. They were so big and beautiful. I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR SPRING! I am jumping the gun in starting some seeds. It is my therapy.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 8, 2012
4:52 AM

Post #9034270

Are we all spraying our dahlias as we await spring?
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

March 8, 2012
8:21 AM

Post #9034547

Uh, mine are in dirt right now. they insisted on growing. I took my first two cuttings yesterday and put them in the aero garden (minus tub and pump - just using lights).
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 8, 2012
8:22 AM

Post #9034549

I think you're doing better in Alaska than the rest of us are!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

March 8, 2012
8:23 AM

Post #9034551

Yeah, but I have to hold them til at least the third week of May. Not good really.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 8, 2012
8:41 AM

Post #9034584

True. I hadn't thought of that.
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

March 9, 2012
3:37 AM

Post #9035411

I'll put mine in the beginning of May after fear of last (or in this year's case first) frost!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
5:12 AM

Post #9035484

Same here.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

March 9, 2012
8:13 AM

Post #9035703

I could set them out on the deck and just watch the weather like crazy til I can unpot and put in the ground. They are so delicate that they usually suffer breakage in the process. Maybe if I can get my DH to help me it would go better.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
8:30 AM

Post #9035721

I'm debating on opening the bags for those I just bought and putting them in sunshine to start them on their journey.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

March 9, 2012
8:35 AM

Post #9035730

I guess it depends on how far along sprouting they are. Seems like I read some where that it doesn't hurt them to knock off the early buds but that would make me nervous. What if there are no more eyes to grow. Will they regrow that eye. Seems risky to me.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
8:44 AM

Post #9035737

I have read that if you knock off an eye another one will grow. I'm as chicken as you are.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

March 9, 2012
9:18 AM

Post #9035772

lol. Well, who will be the guinea pig. I will volunteer as I have several duplicate tubers so if it doesn't work, no big loss. I will let you know how it works.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
10:23 AM

Post #9035830

As soon as I clear off one bay window of plants I will put the new dahlias there and hopefully remember to tend them as they grow.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

March 9, 2012
10:31 AM

Post #9035841

Well poo. Messed up that reply. ahem...

Here is the dahlia volunteer for experimentation - sprout removal - before and after

'flats' of sprouting dahlias

Messy garage needing to be turned into annual greenhouse - must remove car first.

Thumbnail by Oberon46   Thumbnail by Oberon46   Thumbnail by Oberon46   Thumbnail by Oberon46
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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

March 9, 2012
10:33 AM

Post #9035842

I heard you just put them in moist soil then leave them alone until they send up sprouts. By putting five or six or more if they will fit into deep 'flats' (actually drain trays from really big pots) I save dirt, pots, and labor and will only plant those that sprout and can pitch the rest. I also have two pots in the house, one tuber each, and two more with two tubers each growing as actual plants. It will be a long haul to spring
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
10:49 AM

Post #9035862

That makes sense. I understand the saving of soil, energy and time by pre-sprouting.

You inspired me enough that I removed all but one plant from the bay window in the master bedroom and now have all four bags (slit open) sitting there in the sunshine. Some already sprouted in the bags so I'm well on my way to my own adventure.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

March 9, 2012
11:02 AM

Post #9035878

I don't imagine that you can plant out til at the earliest mid-may? New York gets both very cold and very hot if I understand correctly. Two extremes. Like Fairbanks, Alaska. Down to -55 and up to +90.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 9, 2012
2:16 PM

Post #9036106

Since the dahlias love warm soil I don't plant them out until we put the tomatoes out and that's late May.

We are way out east on Long Island so we don't have the problems other New Yorkers have.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

March 9, 2012
3:20 PM

Post #9036167

Sounds about like us in a way. We are somewhat warmed by our proximity to the inlet that gets some of the Japanese current. Let's hear it for microclimates.
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

March 10, 2012
4:37 AM

Post #9036573

I often put mine in pots and then bury the pots. Makes them easier to pull in the fall. Not sure how I'll do them this year, but will put them in sometime in May.
mccaine
Wilmington, NC
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2012
7:59 PM

Post #9038817

Geez, we have to grow tomatoes in 2 seasons in our zone (an early spring and late summer season). Do you think I should tend to my dahlias in waves also? Maybe plant half in April, and save half for August?
mccaine
Wilmington, NC
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2012
8:01 PM

Post #9038820

[quote="haighr"]I often put mine in pots and then bury the pots. Makes them easier to pull in the fall. Not sure how I'll do them this year, but will put them in sometime in May.[/quote]
This sounds like good idea. I'm going to do this this year. Lord knows I have enough pots.
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

April 29, 2012
4:13 AM

Post #9102149

Great news, only lost about 3 from the entire box! They are sprouting and will begin planting today!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

April 29, 2012
4:58 AM

Post #9102181

Your soil is warm enough for dahlias? We're due for 32 degrees tonight!
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

April 30, 2012
4:47 AM

Post #9103498

I hope so, this is about the time I plant them every year. Fear of frost over for us on 5/15 and evening temps in the 40's.
soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2012
8:43 AM

Post #9103815

Good for you Candee! So how many dahlias are you planting this year?
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

May 1, 2012
4:48 AM

Post #9105108

I guess I have 50+ tubers that I separated last year Diann and I generally put a couple together, just in case!!!

ridoodles

ridoodles
Warwick, RI
(Zone 6b)

May 2, 2012
9:02 PM

Post #9107988

Hi all I am new to the forums on dahlias, seems like you all have so much knowledge. Can I ask a few questions?
I have some that I stored in my basement ( not heated per se, but it does have the washer & furnace in it) so I store them far away from the furnace.oposite side of the room , near a wall right near my garage.
I am in RI zone 5b...
Every year I usually do OK...This year I lost about 50% , they were all dried out...the other 50% did fine...but some had sprouts..some not.
They were stored in paper bags in boxes.

Is it necessary to plant with sprouts and what is best way to encourage this? before planting in dirt for the season.
Do I split the large clump of tubers into many tubers? Can I cut them up? Is this where they will sprout...
My clumps are quite large as I am afraid of splitting them up into separate small ones..
I hope this isn't too confusing...thank you in advance..
Martha

This message was edited May 2, 2012 11:06 PM

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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

May 3, 2012
1:49 AM

Post #9108092

Martha


They have to have an 'eye' in order to sprout and flower. There are ways to try to force the tuber to sprout - check out the 'sticky' at the top of the dahlia forum. There is a lot of really good information there.

Have you tried to moisten up any of the dried tubers? I would definitely start there.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

May 3, 2012
8:28 AM

Post #9108483

I cut mine up each fall, leaving a bit of the stem on each to assure I have at least one eye. I lost a fair amount this year also, some small and some really large. I suspect too much moisture was left on them and I wrap in plastic wrap. what is the name of the gorgeous yellow dahlia. I had one a year or so ago and then lost it.
soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 4, 2012
8:15 PM

Post #9110955

Mary - did you sprout experiment work? When you removed the sprout and planted it, did it form roots? Or was your main purpose to see if you accidentally (on purpose in your experiment) knock off a sprout, if a new one would form?

I also have a sprout rooting experiment going on - using a sand media and in vermiculite, using different sizes of sprouts, and I even am trying to root the pinches when I am topping some of my larger ones off. Since I can leave my dahlias in the ground, the early ones are over a foot tall, and Pooh is about 2 ft tall. My camera lens is stuck on the inbetween position so I can't take any pictures. Will have to figure out how to unstick it.


Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

May 5, 2012
8:12 AM

Post #9111354

the tuber sent up new sprouts. I already had some sprouts that I dipped in rooting gel and have maybe ten that are growing nicely. Have no clue where I am going to put all these dahlias. they will be in pots until mid to late June as that is when the new flower beds are going in.
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

May 8, 2012
4:05 AM

Post #9115176

I know what you mean about where to put them. I had soooooooo many this year after splitting them last fall that I seemed to plant all day and then some. I am sure I have planted dahlias on top of dahlias and other things, oh well, I love them!
soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 8, 2012
10:26 AM

Post #9115808

Maybe we should consider a dahlia tuber exchange next year. I am sure we all have different varieties, and it would be fun to try new ones. I hate to throw anything away, bit when I split the tubers, I really don't need 6 plants of the same variety.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

May 8, 2012
10:39 AM

Post #9115824

I agree. I have more Kaiser Wilhelm than I need. I guess we would have to wait a bit in the spring to assure that the tubers we send had viable eyes.
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

May 9, 2012
3:53 AM

Post #9116763

I have about a dozen varieties and I just split them up and put them in the box and am always surprised at what comes up where. I swear that next year I am going to mark them at least by color. I don't know how, but I seem to have always managed to have the yellows, whites come up together and the reds or burgundy together and so forth, but not sure that will happen this year as I really had a lot and put a few together? We shall see.
So an exchange is a great idea, but not sure what you would be getting from me.

This message was edited May 9, 2012 5:53 AM

ridoodles

ridoodles
Warwick, RI
(Zone 6b)

July 19, 2012
3:37 AM

Post #9210977

[quote="Oberon46"]I cut mine up each fall, leaving a bit of the stem on each to assure I have at least one eye. I lost a fair amount this year also, some small and some really large. I suspect too much moisture was left on them and I wrap in plastic wrap. what is the name of the gorgeous yellow dahlia. I had one a year or so ago and then lost it.[/quote]

oberon, i am not sure of the name but can send one in fall if you would like a sample? dmail me your address. Im sorry never responded before now 2 mos after my original post. I had forgotten about this forum. I wish we could get email reminders when we are watching a post. I am still learning about using this web site.

ridoodles

ridoodles
Warwick, RI
(Zone 6b)

July 19, 2012
3:44 AM

Post #9210978

my pretty flowers are all being eaten by earwigs ...urgh ! I have set out plastic used coffee containers with beer , and am catching some, hopefully i can have a few blooms to cut and bring inside,as this is my reasoning for growing dahlias in the 1st place...anyone else having this issue and if so what did you do?
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 19, 2012
5:24 AM

Post #9211048

I've used this product with great success:

Thumbnail by pirl
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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

July 19, 2012
10:08 AM

Post #9211407

Thanks doodles, but I am now full up on dahlias. Went a little nuts. Plus I have shipments of lilies and peonies coming this fall to try to sqeeze in. But thanks anyway. Do earwigs make the leaves get all crunched up looking. I thought Bug-geta was for snals -- will it work for other pests also.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 19, 2012
3:15 PM

Post #9211709

Earwigs eat holes in leaves. Ortho Bug Geta PLUS gets slugs, snails and earwigs.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

July 19, 2012
5:16 PM

Post #9211813

I just spread some corry's around my dahlias - didn't have enough so will try your stuff next. I thought I would have the new bed free of slugs, but guess not.

ridoodles

ridoodles
Warwick, RI
(Zone 6b)

July 20, 2012
5:29 PM

Post #9212795

THANKS PIRL , my dahlias thank you too
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 20, 2012
5:37 PM

Post #9212804

You are quite welcome. If you have any dahlias, like Duet, with white tips, the earwigs are drawn to them more than any other dahlia.

If any flower is suspect just cut the stem, bring the flower to a cement walk (or brick but not dark like asphalt) and shake the flower. If earwigs are there they will fall out but be aware that they will also gross you out by crawling up your arm faster than you think could be possible - so shake and drop the flower at the same time. You'll spot the earwigs scurrying away - stomp and squish them.
MyRee
Brigham City, UT
(Zone 5b)

July 21, 2012
1:54 PM

Post #9213541

Oberon and Pril, I have dahlias that the leaves are all scrunched up also. I don't know what causes it. My problem with insects are the grasshoppers, They eat the whole top of the flower. I don't even mind smashing them anymore. I just clap my hands and smash them dead. I have some beautiful dahlias but my biggest, prettiest one is the Lady Darlene. Oh it just about takes my breath away.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 21, 2012
5:49 PM

Post #9213763

I've had Lady Darlene and absolutely adored it.

I don't know what causes the scrunched up leaves so let's hope someone comes along who can help. I would remove those leaves and not put them in compost. Grasshoppers seem to be more of a pest than ever before.
kiseta
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)

July 21, 2012
8:18 PM

Post #9213933

Speeking of earwigs on Dahlias. I run into a article about Earwig trap. You need a stick, clay flowerpot and napking, I guess paper napkin. You turn the pot upside down, with the stick hold in the napkin and stick the whole thing in ground. early morning the earwig will croll up to the napkin to hide. This is when you take the whole pot and imers it in soapy water. Put new napkin and start again. It make sense. Here is the picture. Etelka

Thumbnail by kiseta
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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 22, 2012
4:58 AM

Post #9214104

The remains of half a grapefruit will also attract them but the problem comes in when you lift it and they scatter or run up your arm. For some of us we'd need 20 to 100 pots or grapefruit shells.
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

November 6, 2012
3:56 PM

Post #9326420

I just pulled up some Dahlias that are from the Biltmore Collection. I bought them two summers ago, well past their plant date, on sale for half price. Figured, what could I lose?

Those doggone things almost threw my back out this past Saturday! They must have grown easily four times larger than what they were this Spring (I dug them last fall as well), and look like potatoes!

My church enjoyed them for a couple of months, too! Absolutely incredible purchase.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

November 6, 2012
4:27 PM

Post #9326452

Great. Good to see that they grew well for you. I have seen some of them online. They are real beauties.
Xaltd1
SOUTH HAMILTON, MA

November 7, 2012
3:23 PM

Post #9327257

That's what I love about digging! Seeing how well they grew below ground! Too bad they don't give ribbons for those. I just read that the original tuber should be tossed. Really?
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

November 7, 2012
3:44 PM

Post #9327278

Jeese, try to FIND the original tuber! LOL! I heard that tubers are also referred to as "taters." Cool, huh - I LIKE this name for 'em!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

November 7, 2012
3:52 PM

Post #9327285

I heard that too, about pitching the original. I don't do that if it looks good. Sometimes the older ones are pretty played out though.
Xaltd1
SOUTH HAMILTON, MA

November 7, 2012
4:02 PM

Post #9327293

I heard that "tater" term, too! I thinks it's a Southern thing.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

November 8, 2012
12:57 PM

Post #9328068

I think the "tater" thing originated in Mexico where they may have used them as a food source.

Sometimes that mother tuber shrinks up to nearly nothing and other times I just don't have the heart to ditch it since it still looks good.
psudan
Mentor, OH

November 8, 2012
1:35 PM

Post #9328119

On Lobaugh's Dahlias on-line catalog, there is a recipe for dahlia bread. Thanks, but I'm planting mine in the ground. Pretty expensive bread,too, although they do say they use the tubers that don't sprout eyes.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

November 8, 2012
2:04 PM

Post #9328140

Mac and cheese sounds more appetizing to me, Dan!

I'm at home and actually using the laptop but the keyboard will take awhile to feel normal.
Xaltd1
SOUTH HAMILTON, MA

November 8, 2012
7:49 PM

Post #9328453

pirl, my new laptop is VERY sensitive, much more than the last computer I have- just brush the scroll pad and you've purchased $250 worth of clothes- whoops, maybe that's not entirely the computer's fault, but it doesn't help matters.

If you put cheese on dahlia tubers, I'm sure they're delish!!! Too expensive, for sure, though!!!
daisy_lee
New Hyde Park, NY

November 9, 2012
7:12 AM

Post #9328716

Arlene, I had the opposite problem when using my husband's laptop, when mine had a virus. It was driving me crazy that I was typing fast and it was recognizing half of the strokes. I was able to adjust the keystrokes to speed it up and you can do the same to slow yours down.

Go to Control Panel
Go to Access Option (may be called Ease of Access)
Go to Change How Your Keyboard Works (may be called something else on your laptop)
Go to Make It Easier to Type
Go to Set-up Filter Keys
Go to Filter Options Keystrokes
Change the amount of seconds to suit your needs. I was able to go below and sample the rate of speed so I was able to set the best speed for me.

Hope it works for you!

Carol

pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

November 9, 2012
1:56 PM

Post #9329088

Thanks, Melissa. I'll be very careful when I'm on dahlia sites!

Carol - it's the feel, not the speed, of the keyboard and the very flat keys (as well as keys in different places than on the former keyboard) that gets me a bit nuts but thanks for your help.

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