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Dahlia with tiny tubers!

Hi Guys,

I was wondering if anyone more experienced with Dahlias would be able to offer some advice?

I bought a few potted Dahlias last spring from a local garden centre. I got a Totally Tangerine, Amazone, and a Bishop of Llandaff. before planting the out I took some cuttings from the Totally Tangerine & Bishop of Llandaff. now we have had a few frosts I thought I would look to dig up and store the tubers for next year.

The Totally Tangerine and Bishop of Llandaff had both been blackened by the frosts so I dug those up and prepped them for storage the totally Tangerine has huge Tubers and a mass of them, also with what looks like a load of eyes at the crown, so I may try to split that next spring. the Bishop of Llandaff on the other hand has no tubers but a few "Thickish" roots. my question is should I even bother trying to store this?

my BoLL Dahlia seemed to be a favourite with the slugs too, so was practically eaten away above ground, could this likely be the reason why it hasn't formed any tubers to speak of?

I have 1 cutting left from the BoLL that has not yet been frost bitten, so I have left that in to give it a little more time to develop tubers.

I will be digging and storing the rest after the nest frosts.

I'm fairly new to Dahlias, so any advice is greatly received.



  • 2 point 42 point 4 Posts: 60
    edited November 2020
    @Glenjjones - do you have some pictures that we could look at prior to giving advice?

    I am wondering if your Totally Tangerine with “its load of eyes at the crown” has actually got leaf gall.  It seems to be prevalent this year.

    If your BofL cutting is in a pot.  Treat it as a pot tuber and when the frosts get it, cut the stems back and then leave the pot and its roots/tubers undisturbed in a sheltered, frost free place.  Placing the pot on its side works best.
  • I've googled some pictures and it could be Gall. if it is, is there any cure, and what is the best course of action?

  • @Glenjjones - if it is leafy gall, regrettably there is nothing you can do.  You should dispose of the whole tuber by burning it or putting it in your council waste bin.  Preferably, the one that goes to landfill rather than your garden waste bin.  On no account, put it into your own compost heap.  To keep it may mean that it spreads elsewhere including other plants outwith dahlias.

    As it is a bacterial infection, a biocide drench can ‘clean’ up your soil.  Put 25ml of bleach into a gallon of water (apologies for the mixed units!) and pour it over the soil.  Do it soon and it will have time to wash through.  Next spring, dig in some manure/well rotted compost to restore the soil’s flora and fauna.

    Make sure that you clean any tools used and be aware that your cuttings may also be affected.
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