Benching up tubers & pot roots

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

That sounds like great fun, Dayna. At least you'll keep busy and out of trouble.....unless it's plant troubles. I just ordered more Oriental bulbs yesterday. Dutch Gardens had a great offer on them.

Massapequa Park, NY(Zone 7a)

Here is a picture of a small pot root that I took a cutting from 6 days ago. Note the scar of the stem has heald over but more importantly note the 4 new shoots starting to grow. There are also 2 other shoots close bye that are about 5 days ahead of the 4 little ones. This is how cuttings can get out of hand. So far on this small pot root we have 1 cutting with 2 more shortly and then the 4 from the scar of the first cutting. This is also why we leave about 1/8" when we take a cutting.
More on cuttings to come. The first ones I took in late march have roots but not showing yet through the wedges.
Steve_D

Thumbnail by Steve_D
Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

I am a real newbie to dahlias so please excuse this ignorant question...when will these cuttings bloom? Does it take a few years or will they bloom this year? Would you recommend cuttings when you have only 1 tuber of a certain variety and you'd like more? Tamara

Massapequa Park, NY(Zone 7a)

Tamara,

First there are no ignorant question in my book. Now to the fun part. Yes, these cuttings will bloom this year and make tubers in the fall. Yes, this is the way to take 1 tuber and have more than 1 plant. Dahlia are fun and quite forgiving of some of the mistakes we all make. Keep the questions coming.
Steve_D

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

Woo hoo! Thanks so much Steve! This is so helpful to those of us new to the dahlia addiction! :-) Tamara

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Tamera, I caught the addiction bad this year. Steve says cuttings can get "out of hand" -- I think I passed "out of hand" 60 tubers ago, now I'm making cuttings. It's good to look forward to those getting out of hand, too. Good thing my DH doesn't go down to the basement very often.

I'm the QUEEN of dumb questions (I'm blond). What does everyone label their NOIDS? I did (f course) buy 3 "no names" for $2 ea. b/c they were container size. I'm just labeling as to color and size- "Border Pink". That will be a problem if I get another border size pink dahlia.
-My labeling is getting way OC too.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

"?" is good, so is "No I.D." but for the OC it's a real problem. Can you take a photo of the packaging and label the photo "Border Pink #1" or "Border Pink #1 Home Depot" to jog your memory?

I labeled a lot of our own hybridized dayliles (tag were blown off by winds and rains) UNK for unknown. Now I have a family of Uncles that I never had in real life.

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Hi pirl! I got these noids at The Christmas Tree Shop. I think you have some of those in NY. Basically giant dollar stores. The photos on the package look very much like the $$ container dahlias in the catalogs, so it will be kinda neat to grow them side by side and see! I guess "CTS Pink" etc. will do.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

If we have those shops I've missed them......thankfully! I've got my hands full now.

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

HI Tam - how many will you have this year?

Jax - I start with ? or NOID, but will give it my own name if not IDable after it flowers. It's easier to remember that way.

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

Here are the tubers I ordered/purchased:
A La Mode
Almand Joy
Bert Pitt
Blackberry Ripple
Bloom's Irene
Blue Bayou
Caribbean Fantasy
Fuzzy Wuzzy
Gitt's Perfection
Jessica Tears
Kogana Fubuki
Lucky Number
Otto's Thrill
Seattle
Tsuki-yorine-shisha
Vancouver

The scary part is I really have no place to plant all of them. 2 of them will be planted at my mom's house. The rest I will just have to make room for. I have 1 bed that I am planning just for dahlias, but it's not big enough for all of them. Guess I'll be ripping up more sod. Especially if I become brave enough to take cuttings. ;-) Tamara

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Is it possible that any of them would be suitable for pots?

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

I was thinking the same thing, but I thought I'd defer to the experts to see if any were suitable for containers. Tamara

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

...or you can get 5 trees taken out like I did!!! There's ALWAYS room for another plant. My philosophy has been "What if it doesn't grow?! I can't have an empty spot", so I know have lots of back-up tubers. Lots.

I've carried this dahlia thing into a real O/C problem.

But... in the interest of experimentation, I have enough tubers to try some different things like shadier spots, more acidic soils, etc. Has anyone ever grown a 5' dahlia suspended from a deck rail or tree limb (potted, of course) and let the foliage and flowers grow down??? Would it be ugly?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You could be the test case!

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

"Case" is right!!!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Well, the dahlias could be the test and you would be the supervisor.

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

The ones I have grown - Tsuki,Lucky #,Seattle and Vancouver I would say are not ideal container dahlias.

Nipomo, CA(Zone 8a)

Steve~~
Did I just read your work on the Mid-Island Dahlia site? When reading and studying what you said there and on a previous post here, the clumps that I get delivered tomarrow and the ones from last week would be fine and maybe better if I follow the procedures you outline? Are you saying that I can get more than one plant out of each clump?
Thanks and Happy Easter
Dayna

Nipomo, CA(Zone 8a)

Steve~ When I continued on the MIDS page I see you answered this question already. Thanks

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Steve,

Today I benched up some non-pot root tubers from my Christy Parks order and now I have a coupla questions (and after proofreading, I see the number has expanded! LOL!)

The first one is, is it too late to do this? I would normally plants these out around the 2nd week of May or so. I don't need the cuttings to go in the ground, but I want to plant out the tubers that are furnishing cuttings as soon as I can.

The second question is how do you get them to stop making sprouts? If I am trying to get down to the magic number of 1, will I be able to stop them from making more?

In the flat I used Miracle Grow with moisture crystals. They are in a flat with regular drainage holes under a clear lid, under lights, on a heat mat. It's nice and warm, but I wondered what you felt the optimal temperature was? Is it possible for them to have too much water? I am rooting Impatiens in the same flat. (I wasn't going to do any dahlias, but there was some space left from the Impatiens.

Which part(s) of the tuber gets roots- the tip end or the part of the middle that's touching soil?

If the grower cut the end of the tuber off for you, do they grow roots at the cut end? The reason I ask is because I have one where the sprout is coming up the wrong way, and naturally, it's the one I want the most. It is coming up in the V of 2 tubers. Should I make sure the 2 tubers are partially covered, or should I make sure the sprout is coming up straight?

I was going to buy some vinyl tags with a wire from Ferncliff, but I don't have time. I used a cut up yogurt container, punched a hole and spent way too much time looking for wire. All I could find are some plastic covered wire plant ties that are just like the ones that come with trash bags or some kinds of bread, except those are paper and mine is plastic. Is it possible to strangle the tuber when you put these on? Do you need to leave some room for that tuber neck to grow or anything? I made them pretty tight, but I am not sure I put them around the tuber the right way. LOL! That's the one thing there isn't a clear picture of.

The final question is: on Friday I am going to Florida for a week. What directions should I give Mr. Clean, my plant watcher? I was hoping I could just leave them in their self-contained flat for a week, but I'm sure that is too easy. He follows directions to a T, so I am not worried, just that I know what directions to give him!

This is fun! I am not going to let it get out of hand, though, and most of my orders aren't coming until the last week in April, so I won't have time to let it get out of hand, anyway. Thanks for the detailed post.

Dayna, thanks for the mention of the Mid-Island Dahlia site...I took a look and learned a lot.

Suzy


Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

bump...I'm ready to take my first ever cuttings...wish me luck! Oh, and funny thing is, it's from the Caribbean Fantasy I thought was a dud! Tamara

Aptos, CA

hhhmmm I wonder where Steve is??

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Lost in the Dahlia fields!

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Time to Bump. I have a single shoot of a popular dahlia and I need to make cuttings.

Suzy

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

I know not to take a cutting into the tuber, but how big a stub do I leave on the pot tuber to resprout?

Suzy

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'll be waiting for an answer, too. When I took cuttings I left an inch to two inches but never thought to ask the experts.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Oh, well, my little sprouts aren't even long enough for a 2-node cutting, I just want to be prepared ;)

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Suzy,
I just break the shoot/sprout off at the base of it against the tuber. Haven't had any problems with them growing from that point on. You just need to have some nodes where the leaves can make roots in the soil.
Carol

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Many of the tubers I had thought were too hopeless have sprouted thanks to the bottom heat, I'm sure. Even the few that were shriveled are sprouting!

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

I'm finding that dahlias are so prolific, you can get into trouble. I had no idea what I was doing last year, but all of my cuttings sprouted and grew like magic, and I had too much to plant! This year, I'm actually defoliating the early sprouts & tossing them!
The border "Purple Haze" has me worried- was this thing exposed to nuclear waste? It produces tubers and cuttings like some sort of weed! I gave a few tubers away, and it's mad- sprouts are filling my basement!

Triad(for a few more, NC(Zone 7a)

Hi Everyone,
Steve, thank you for starting this thread. This is my first year into Dahlia's after a neighbor gave me 3 in pots last year and I put them in my garden. Then I discovered I was in love!

I have about 20 now and will soon have about 40 total. Here are some pics of mine so far. Little did I know I was doing such a smart thing. I got the idea about 2 weeks ago to pot them up in my NEW greenhouse to get them started and look! I couldn't believe it when they started shooting up. Now I want to learn how to clone them so I will go back and read more carefully this thread. Dahlia people are great folks, I am discovering.

The great thing about cloning is then we can SWAP!

Susan in NC zone 7A

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Triad(for a few more, NC(Zone 7a)

Some more of my new babies starting to show off their stuff!

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Triad(for a few more, NC(Zone 7a)

More...I am trying to keep them labeled so that I can keep track of their height when I put them in their new home which you can see in the next post.

Triad(for a few more, NC(Zone 7a)

Forgot the pic, sorry

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Triad(for a few more, NC(Zone 7a)

Here is their new home devoted to dahlias with a couple of friends who may compliment them. The bed is 30 ft in diameter. I was told by another knowledgable Dahlia grower that I should not try to put all of my tubers in this bed so some will be going into some other places in our yard to add beauty.

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Triad(for a few more, NC(Zone 7a)

I have also done this with new Liatris roots.

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Triad(for a few more, NC(Zone 7a)

And peonies.

I am pretty new to flower gardens as my hubby and I are expert veggie farmers, so this flower stuff is all very exciting for me!

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Good luck with all your new plants, Susan.

Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

Well, I potted my rather shrivelled tubers last week, and placed them in a make-shift "greenhouse"

The tubers have definitely plumped up, but no green sprouts yet. . . .

I lost several tubers this year because they went moldy.

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