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2nd year Dahlias query

BettyWalesBettyWales Posts: 38
I grew some dahlias from seed last year with great success -delighted! I left a couple of the tubers in the ground over winter but sadly think they've gone to Australia - or rotted due to all the rain? I took a couple of tubers into my shed to store and decided to replant them in pots as this worked better. They're looking good but I'm wondering if I should have taken cuttings off them and does this mean I'll have a lot less flowers due to them being congested? Always happy to learn from the more experienced! Btw the pot is about a foot tall (photo looks a bit deceiving) 


  • BiljeBilje Posts: 565
    I grow dahlias both in the ground and in pots every year. I never thin the stems or disbud the flowers( to get bigger ones) your dahlia looks fine although I suspect the pot will ultimately be small for it. Keep them well watered but not standing in water, I feed plants in pots with general liquid feed until end July then use tomato fertiliser until say October. I use the fertiliser say every 10 days. 
    After storing the tuber next winter you'll find you can probably split it into 2 or 3 next season. Early cuttings are easy but I don't bother I've too many plants already. Good luck. 
  • BettyWalesBettyWales Posts: 38
    Thanks very much for lots of useful tips. I've used bigger pots this year as I found that last year one of the pots cracked under pressure I presume and in fact it was difficult to get the tuber out for the winter. But I'll maybe use bigger pots again in future thanks. When you mention general it not a good idea to use tomato fertiliser throughout the summer? Just wondering...when you grow them in the ground do you dig up the tubers and store them for the winter in the same way as for pots? I'd like to have some in the garden as well next year as the flowers you get are never ending! Many thanks again
  • BiljeBilje Posts: 565
    Hi Betty, tomato fertiliser helps develop the tuber, a general fertiliser earlier in the year helps produce more leaf growth and flowers or so I was told. Dahlias like water and food they probably aren't too particular😄.
    i certainly lift the garden tubers. I live in the NE, one year we had a very cold wet winter and I lost a lot. I lift about November, batches at a time. My regime which is successful for me..other regimes are available to lift cut of stems at about 4 inches, then I use a jet on the tubers to wash remaining soil off. I leave them in the back of he garage to dry off. Then I wrap in newspaper individually and pop several in a bag for life and hang up in the garage. I have about a 95% success rate. 
    I don't grow many in pots those I might just lie on there side somewhere protected. 
    It all seems like hard work to non fans but like you I really appreciate 5 months of flowers, plus you can just about double your stock year on year if you choose to. 
  • BettyWalesBettyWales Posts: 38
    Thanks again for your tips and advice! I don't mind the hard work as long as it's straightforward, not too fiddly and your suggestions sound easy to follow 😊 I'd like to increase my stock next year and get some back in the garden as well as pots, so will split the tubers I have and also grow some more from seed, as I was delighted with my first attempt. Cheers again and enjoy your dahlia flowers when they arrive!
  • I just grew some from seed this year so was quite interested in this post. No Idea how they will develop.
    I'm lazy so the dahlias I already have in the ground stay there but it is a south facing front garden and I live in Kent. If you are looking for tubers and are not too fussed what you get I bought some from Aldi this year and was surprised to find I got 4 separate tubers for £1.49. I did rummage round for the fattest tubers in the crate. 
  • BettyWalesBettyWales Posts: 38
    I was well impressed with the tips I got on this query too. I hope you have as much success with your seedlings as I did last year but 4 tubers for £1.49 that sounds a proper bargain! I'm afraid if I left the tubers in the ground over winter I'd probably have to give them swimming lessons so you're very lucky if they survive. I've lost other plants through wet winters such as Echinacea which, despite planting them on a base of grit as advised and they flower really well in their 1st year, they sadly never show up again, it can be very frustrating!
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