Benching up tubers & pot roots

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Patience seandor. Some of mine took weeks to sprout this year. No idea why.

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

I am really going to mulch heavy in the Fall and see if they wont make it through the winter. The 3 I had last year made it fine and are leafing out nicely. They were in the ground until about March 1st, when I learned Dahlias dont like WInter so I went out dug them out squeezed them and they seemed nice and firm so I put them in my gh in pots and they came out nicely.

Hopefully the 35-40 I am planting this year will all do the same!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Seandor - mine took much longer than I thought they would. Patience is the only alternative to giving up and throwing them out.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

that would be going over to the dark side pirl! shhhhhh don't even think it.

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

Seandor,
I learned what the great folks here are telling you also, I had some that shot up almost in a few days then I have a couple that have been in pots for 4 weeks now with no sign of growth so I dug down a little and sure enough there was a fat plump little green eye getting ready to pop. I guess some varieties take longer than others.

I just found out today that Japanese Beetles like dahlias, ARRRGGGHHHH! The battle for my roses isn't enough, now I have to fight them for my dahlias.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I felt I had nothing to lose and might learn something from it and I did. Slowly but surely they're all sprouting, even the ones I thought were destined to become compost.

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

Oh My Gosh, I dread that day I dont think I could throw any away. I would have to have a funeral. Ok, I guess after a couple more years of dahlias I will get over this right?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Not really.

Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

hahahaha . . . .good grief . . . I have a gazillion seedlings I have started and I haven't the heart to toss any. Honestly, thank goodness there is the neighbourhood terrace or what would I do with all these plants???

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

ok.... sure... one day I'll get over it..... hmmmm started with one dinnerplate against a hedge, soon I redid an entire room for cold storage and a dahlia grow-op... and now give dahlia tubers away to complete strangers who ask.... o and wake up and to check the heater in the green house during deep freezes.... and have become a dahlia magnet cuz more new dahlia tubers just seem to magically arrive every year.....and I volunteer to pick up diseased tubers from those who have no place to burn them so actually do cremations.... and had crappy luck with border tubers so bought 30 more just in case it was a bad year for container tubers...... yupper I'm definitely getting over it....

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

Uh-Oh, sounds like I have picked the wrong path. lol

I havn't even had my first full year with mine and I am hooked already. I have heard that border varieities can be tricky so I am planting another perrenial for border in my new bed with some shorter dahlias in amongst. Didn't want to end up with a garden with bare edges come July.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I've never had a problem with the Unwin (border dahlias) and they were the most anxious to bud out downstairs, even before I put them under the lights and on the heating cable.

Lowell, MA(Zone 6a)

Hi guys,
I am new to the Dhalia's forum, I planted 3 Dhalia tubers and 2 have sprouted. One is very tall about 10 in with about 4 sets of leaves, my question is... should i trim it a bit? I think i heard is good to trim them to get more shoots or make it bushy. Is that true? I dont want to go and kill it. The plants are all inside until the weather is better.

Thanks a lot!!
~Soris

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You could either take a cutting from it or pinch it back. You want to leave two sets of true leaves so just pinch it after the second set. Definitely keep it inside until the end of May.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Are you showing? If you don't care about bigger flowers pinching will create a bushier plant but will set back your flowering. In your zone that may not make too much of a difference but in my zone I'm into early blooms. I only pinch sprouts coming off the tuber. Other than that I only take out side buds when they form and trim for shape but then again I want more flowers not bigger flowers or bushier plants. It all depends on what look you want and most important how early is your first fall frost and is your dahlia a early/mid/late bloomer. Pirl is right on about the planting out timing and is giving the best advice for your higher zone.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

I have noticed something about tuber "wake up" time, and am wondering if it's just a coincidence or if other people have had it happen, too.

You know how dahlias wake up when they want to? It seems no amount of heat and light will rush them if they don't want to be rushed.

I noticed that all tubers of a certain clone will eye up/sprout within 24 hours of each other.

I just thought it was weird is all. But it might come in handy if I am not sure if a tuber is x or Y. I have all my purchased tubers eyed up as of today except one: Golden Egg. What is with this slow poke? I keep wondering if I cut the stem too short. Wasn't I supposed to plant it 6" deep? And trim the stem down to about 3/4 inch? Or did I cut too short? Or are they still waking up? (rhetorical question on that last one.) Now that it is the last to wake up, I decided it was my definite favorite from last year, and I want it a LOT. LOL!

Suzy

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It has to be a rule in dahlia tubers. The ones we love best are the last to wake up.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

...the last to wake up and the first to rot :(

I think you're right Suzy; varieties tend to eye up at the same time, regardless of conditions. It's a nice way to tell which are viable, or not, when you have multiples of a variety. The ones that aren't showing eyes long after their 'littermates' are tossed, rather than waiting an age for eyes to show up.

Lowell, MA(Zone 6a)

This is my Dhalia as of today. I did cut it a bit after the second set of leaves. Is it too leggy or is just me?

Thumbnail by Dulcigarden
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Looks good to me. Can you put it on top of an overturned clay pot to raise it closer to the sun?

Lowell, MA(Zone 6a)

I will do that, maybe is so long because is reaching for light.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Most likely, that's why I suggested moving it closer to the sun.

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

I have noticed the tuber "I'll get up when I'm good and ready" syndrome! Funny, they all catch up to each other once they get growing for real in the ground. Hey, just like people; some of us are morning people, some are not, but we usually manage to get the job done. So says this night-owl!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Inside those tubers they do have little minds of their own. I have Aloha on the heating cable and another on a table without any heat. Both are under lighting. After four weeks they both sprouted at the same time.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Ah, good, then it is true! Then I still have hope for Golden Egg. I could have messed up some tubers, or a lot of tubers, but I really don't think I could have messed up ALL the tubers. :)) I shall wait for at least one to sprout before I panic. It was the most gorgeous color here.


Suzy

North West, OH(Zone 5b)

Heck yeah, of course I've got to try this.

Somewhere up there ^ Suzy asked "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?"

I've been looking and looking but I can't find an answer to her question.

I've been trying to do some reading on my own and not ask you guys every little question that pops into my head. But I too am wondering what the next step is after I've taken all the sprouts I want/can and am ready to put the mama tuber in the ground. Can anybody help me out with this one?

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Lala, I'll tell you just what I know which is limited because I don't mess too much with cuttings at this point. Often when you take a cutting, that eye spot will magically kick out multiple shoots. What happens at the cellular level, I don't know, but if you see it happen repeatedly you just accept that it happens as the dahlia attempts to survive and reproduce itself. Bless their little hearts.

If you have multiple shoots growing you can go ahead and plant that tuber and just repeatedly break off any you don't want to grow at soil level or just below: let one grow only. Pretty soon, it will give up and quit sending up new sprouts, leaving you with the one stalk plant many recommend.

One thing to be aware of is that a tuber can become exhausted from sending up so many offspring so don't tire them out too much.

North West, OH(Zone 5b)

Thanks Pooch. I had read about them becoming exhausted which was why I wanted to make sure I could 'shut them down' after taking a few cuttings. As always you have been most helpful....thank you!

Bend, OR(Zone 5a)

Dear Steve,

My husband wants to know where you live.... Honey..put that shotgun away!!!!
LOL.. Just kidding.

Ginger

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

I love this thread and read over and over it all the time now. I have two sprout s nwo from ptos that mad eit through snow and extreme cold and ice.

The oen thign I didnt find in my reading is, after you have taken all the cuttigns the plant wil give what do you to with the momma. Wil she continue to make more babies.

Also is their like a limit as to how many cutting sit is healthy to take off a pot root and when is enough enough?

Saugerties, NY(Zone 5a)

Steve, thanks for all your wonderful knowledge. This post is full of helpful information. Steve, I grew up on Fillmore St. do you know where that is?
Christine

Bend, OR(Zone 5a)

OK. HELP... I am going to try this.

I bought some tubers at WM and Lowe's to do a test run. I have a space for them that I don't care what comes up as long as it looks cool.. Can I assume that TC is an issue with commercial box store dahlias as it is with daylilies and who knows what the outcome could be?

Anyway. One of the things Steve didn't say and it might be a stupid Q but hey....

When you bench up the tubers in the mix do you water it good and then leave it or do you just mist tubers everyday and leave the soil-less stuff dry?

Ginger

Athens, PA

Ginger -

I am no expert - but I would water well the first time and then check them daily after that for dampness and then try to keep them from drying out, but without letting mold start.

I was thinking of trying this experiment myself...

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

At the start they want light and heat, not drenching wet soil. I'd use damp soil but not wet soil.

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