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Planting out dahlias and geraniums

LatimerLatimer Latimer, BuckinghamshirePosts: 747
Hi all

I know I should probably post these as separate threads but I'm being lazy! 😆

Both sets of plants have been in the cold frame from planting.

Dahlias:

How big should they be before i plant them out? The Karma Choc (bottom left) is the biggest. 2 of them failed, is it usual for them to do that? Possible causes?



Geraniums:



The one in the clay pot I've coaxed along since last year, it was from seed. The three in the smaller pots were bare roots planted earlier this year, one of which has done nothing. Should I be potting these on or planting them out?

Thanks all
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Posts

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,269
    edited 5 May
    I would wait until the Dahlias are at least twice that size, also until risk of frost has gone.
    The Geraniums are hardy, but those are not very large, so I would probably grow them on a bit.

    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
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,223
    I'd agree - it's more about the temps/size for the dahlias, but the geraniums should be outside somewhere until they're ready to plant, maybe apart from the no-show one, although if they were mine I'd stick them all outside in a sheltered corner somewhere.
    They're completely hardy and don't need cosseting.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,018
    edited 5 May
    Dahlia tubers failing can often be due to too much water - the green surface on your two failed pots suggests this might be the case.  I learned this lesson last year!  The tubers only need watering once after potting them up and again only when the leaves appear, but sparingly until the leaves get bigger and the soil/compost becomes dry. The tubers are prone to rot if too wet.  If you remove the tuber to inspect it, it may be soft and have tell tale signs of a white fungus.  
  • Are the dahlias from tubers or seed?

    Either way, please don't neglect some sort of protection fron slugs/snails.
  • hatty123hatty123 West YorkshirePosts: 125
    Worth checking if you've got any slugs hiding in the cold frame, my one and only dahlia got eaten 😠 I naively thought the cold frame would be safer from slugs but I found loads of baby ones hiding under pots. Sound advice from @WhereAreMySecateurs
  • LatimerLatimer Latimer, BuckinghamshirePosts: 747
    Thank you everyone.

    Well definitely check for slugs @hatty123 and @WhereAreMySecateurs. I think one of them has definitely been nibbled.

    @Plantminded you might be right about them being too wet. The dahlias were all planted from tubers and the three geraniums were bare root.

    I know the geraniums I have a good soak to and left but we had a very warm spell and when I checked again they were very dry with no sign of growth so I gave them another drink. Perhaps I over did it.

    I'll move the geraniums out now and see if I can keep the dahlias safe.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,223
    I'd agree the dahlias have probably been too wet. I missed your query about that. When they come into growth, they only need enough moisture to keep them happy, and they won't dry out quickly, even under cover, unless it's very hot and dry. Mine have been outside a good bit this week, making use of the plentiful rain, but the mix they're in is also free draining, so they're fine in that regard. They're in the growhouse at night. 

    The soil level is also very low in your pots. It might be worth re potting them, so that they have plenty of room for the root system, and enough nutrition until it's time to plant them out.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,269
    Many of us do not water Dahlia tubers in pots, until they show signs of growth, just potting them in very slightly damp compost.
    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
  • LatimerLatimer Latimer, BuckinghamshirePosts: 747
    Fairygirl said:
    When they come into growth, they only need enough moisture to keep them happy, and they won't dry out quickly, even under cover, unless it's very hot and dry. 
    The weather down south has been a bit mixed, going from warm to quite cold over a few days with no rain. Honestly, with it being the last week of Ramadan last week they were neglected more than coddled!! In fact, I don't think I've watered them since potting up but I may have given them too much of a soaking to start. Lesson learned!

    Fairygirl said:
    The soil level is also very low in your pots. It might be worth re potting them, so that they have plenty of room for the root system, and enough nutrition until it's time to plant them out.  :)
    I'll do this. Are the pot sizes ok? 

    punkdoc said:
    Many of us do not water Dahlia tubers in pots, until they show signs of growth, just potting them in very slightly damp compost.
    I think I may have overdone the watering initially as I said above, will try and do better next year!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,223
    Pots are probably fine. Mine are about the same.  :)
    It's sometimes a bit hit and miss with weather, so you just have to judge it by your conditions on a daily basis, and the size of the plants, regardless of where you are. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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