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Transplant Dahlia in Autumn

TimmyMagicTimmyMagic Greater LondonPosts: 132
I've been cutting back my dahlias today, as they've got hit by the frost. I want to leave most in the ground as they do better than the ones I lift and store, since I don't have a greenhouse to get them started. The only ones I'm lifting this year are those that I want to move to a better spot. I was wondering if it's a good idea to transplant them in the ground now, rather than lift and store. I can't find much info on this. I assume it would be the same risk as leaving them in the ground where they are at the moment, but I'm not sure. 

Thoughts most welcome. Thanks. 

Posts

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,286
    I think transplanting them would be riskier, so I would dig up and store as tubers.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • If the new spot is in the same conditions, ie drains well, isn't in a frost pocket, then I don't think it's any bigger risk moving them now. I left mine in the ground last year and just gave them a thick mulch with some old compost and then 6-12" of bracken on top as I had it and was being cautious. 
    I'm going to do the same this year but I will take some tubers from the ones I really like to overwinter indoors as a backup. 
  • TimmyMagicTimmyMagic Greater LondonPosts: 132
    punkdoc said:
    I think transplanting them would be riskier, so I would dig up and store as tubers.
    I understand there's a risk to leaving them in the ground, but are you saying it would be riskier to transplant rather than leave where they are? And if so, why would that be? 

    If the new spot is in the same conditions, ie drains well, isn't in a frost pocket, then I don't think it's any bigger risk moving them now. I left mine in the ground last year and just gave them a thick mulch with some old compost and then 6-12" of bracken on top as I had it and was being cautious. 
    I'm going to do the same this year but I will take some tubers from the ones I really like to overwinter indoors as a backup. 
    Yes, it would be the same conditions. I have one particular dahlia (pink pompom - don't know it's official name) and it is superb. It was in the ground last winter and it's got much bigger this season and has crowded out a rose that's just behind it. I want to move the dahlia about 2 metres away from it's current spot. If I dig it out I'll probably divide it into two or three, so maybe I could store one like you're doing, just in case. 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,070
    I  agree that transplating them now into the ground is a bigger risk.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,286
    If you dig them up now, it is likely you will damage some of the tubers leading to rotting, so either leave where they are or dig up and dry off to store.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • TimmyMagicTimmyMagic Greater LondonPosts: 132
    punkdoc said:
    If you dig them up now, it is likely you will damage some of the tubers leading to rotting, so either leave where they are or dig up and dry off to store.
    Okay, that makes sense. Thanks.

    As I don't want to risk it with this particular dahlia since it's the star of the show, I think I will leave it in the ground and cover with mulch, then look to move it next spring. Or I'll move the rose.

    But I might transplant some of the ones I'll be digging up this weekend, just as an experiment. These are ones that I have lots of, so if I lose one or two it's okay.

    Thanks everyone.
  • newbie77newbie77 LondonPosts: 1,241
    @TimmyMagic, how is the soil where you are moving dahlias to? If it is not well draining then I would suggest to move in spring. My garden soil is compact clay and doesnt drain well. So if i dig and move something now, the new refilled soil in the hole is not so compact as surrounding clay and becomes a water pool. This causes rotting roots/tubers over winter. So I wait for spring to move around plants.
  • TimmyMagicTimmyMagic Greater LondonPosts: 132
    @newbie77 It's well draining. I left a lot of dahlias in the ground last year and they all made it. We had some snow but it was quite a mild winter, so if it's a very cold one then I don't know. 


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