Dahlia done already?

HexagonHexagon Posts: 962
Bargain basement dahlia xxl has done all right, but the blooms weren’t particularly spectacular. One fantastic bloom on it when I got it. Nothing like it since. I didn’t repot it or feed it, just a good soaking once a week and regular deadheading. All the blooms recently have been as scabby as the one in the photo. Taking it out of the pot, it may look root bound? Not sure. Water still absorbs well and only the top couple of inches are dry at the moment and the roots are in a decent amount of moist soil.

I’m not sure I see the point in wasting compost potting it on now when I’m going to be taking up the tuber for division/storage. Is there any reason why the tuber on this one is right at the side of the pot? Is it supposed to be planted that way?

Things I have to feed it are blood fish bone or some slow release pellets. Could I even chop it down right now and divide the tuber?


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,105

    I think it would have done better if you had repotted it and fed it. To grow good blooms Dahlias need to be fed. Dahlias will still flower all through September and October until the frosts. Why don't you repot it and feed it now and see what happens? It has yellow leaves so it is probably hungry. It could probably do with a bit more water too.

    There is probably more tuber in the middle of the pot.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • HexagonHexagon Posts: 962
    Ok, will repot into this and give it a good soaking.

    When you say “more tuber” in the middle of the pot, do you mean a separate tuber? So one plant has more than one tuber?
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,618
    It will probably be explosive next year.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 57,618
    Hexagon said:
    Ok, will repot into this and give it a good soaking.

    When you say “more tuber” in the middle of the pot, do you mean a separate tuber? So one plant has more than one tuber?
    A bit like potato plants have several tubers. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • HexagonHexagon Posts: 962
    So that means I could take separate tubers to grow more than one dahlia. Sounds good, I wasn’t looking forward to cutting up a tuber and looking for “eyes” etc.

    Dunno what fire means by explosive.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,157
    Dahlias only grow from the stem to which the tubers all join.  A tuber planted without a bit of stem (where the 'eyes' are located) attached won't grow.  Youtube video:

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • HexagonHexagon Posts: 962
    Oh I see, thanks! I was planning on watching some sort of instructional video when I was ready to take them up.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 1,693

    Poor little dahlia! The tuber has grown like that because there is no room for it to develop naturally. In fact, it has given you a lot more than you have given it! Dahlias like room and nourishment and yours would have gained from repotting when you bought it and regular feeding with a liquid feed. The flower looks like that because slugs or earwigs have been enjoying it from when it was a bud.

    I wouldn't attempt division, myself, I'd grow it on properly for a year and give it a chance to strengthen up.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,810
    I agree.  Give it some love and atttention (feed, water, dead-heading) and it will repay you with lots of healthy blooms next year and maybe even this year still if you keep the pot in a sunny spot till the frosts arrive.  Either way, being kind to it now ill make its roots healthier for next spring's explosion of growth.

    You can take cuttings from the new shoots next spring.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • HexagonHexagon Posts: 962
    Thanks, guess I’ll keep it in the pot for another year. Saves having another pot cluttering up the place.
    I would take cuttings but I’m really bad at them. Only managed to root coleus and osteos in water. Nothing in soil except maybe a bit of scabious that fell off.
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