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Dahlia tubers

louise.colleylouise.colley Posts: 102
Hi some advise plse. I’ve ordered 9 tubers from Marshall’s and they only arrived last Friday. I soaked over night was many were quite wrinkly. Anyway I’ve put each tuber is a small pot. Do I need to keep in doors or is a green frame ok? 

Worried done to late. I had intended to plant in large pots so wonder whether I should just do that or do I keep in the small tops until they sprout. It’s my first attempt at dahlias and they were cheap so want to make them a success of them. Thank you 


  • louise.colleylouise.colley Posts: 102
     Should say weren’t cheap! :)
  • celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 752
    edited May 2021
    I’d kept mine in a polytunnel but found that it’s not warm enough at night to get them going.. I have since moved them back indoors and all but two have sprouted in less than a week whereas most of them had done nothing in over a month in the poly tunnel before. Also back in April we had very cold nights which thwarted a few of the new shoots as unheated greenhouses do not provide enough frost protection to tender plants. The lesson I have learned this year is to keep them all in the house, unless one has a heated greenhouse. 

    Given you’re starting them late keeping them indoors is probably the quickest way to get them going as the indoor temperatures would be ideal
  • louise.colleylouise.colley Posts: 102
    @celcius_kkw thank you great advice - given they dry out faster assume ok to water daily? 
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,466
    If you planted them in damp compost they shouldn't need much more water until you see signs of life. Too much would risk rotting the tubers so better to err on the side of caution. They can grow quite fast once they start and given the spring we've had you probably won't be far behind the rest of us when it comes to putting them out :)
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,619
    Give mine a tiny bit of water when I plant,they were, still are in a frost free. Green house sprouted nicely
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,281
    All of mine are very slow to get started this year, so I can't see that you will be far behind. As buttercupdays says, keep them damp but not wet until you see active growth. This will help to stop rotting off. Once they start growing, they will romp away with plenty of water and feed needed.
  • celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 752
    @louise.colley like the others have said here, I would only water it once every few weeks until it starts to sprout. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,583
    I don't water mine at all until I see growth. 
    I'm sure we've all seen them growing in bags of dry dust or wood shavings whilst hanging on shelves in garden centres? They don't need to be damp to get them to start growing.
  • didywdidyw Posts: 3,212
    I have several varieties in dry compost being kept frost free in the outhouse.  I did plant another three varieties in a large pot in a sheltered south facing space that was only watered by the rain and they are now starting to shoot.  The ones I left in the garden haven't stirred themselves yet.  I'm planning on repotting/planting all of those in the outhouse into the garden and pots over the coming week and hopefully all dahlias will be showing growth by the end of the month.
    I think as long as you keep yours frost free, (rather than anywhere warm indoors) and water sparingly, you should be able to pop them into your large pots fairly soon, whether they have shoots or not.
    Gardening in East Suffolk on dry sandy soil.
  • scooty883scooty883 Posts: 34
    The cold snap up here in Scotland has me doing the night/day hokey pokey for now
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