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Dahlia Update!!!

Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 166
I sound like a broken record going on about dahlias. Since previous discussions 5 out of 7 dahlias are showing small signs of life but have been pretty static now for couple of weeks and don’t know how to spur them on. In greenhouse, small amount of water but when time comes to plant out can I put them out even if they have no or very little growth? Also should I now sit the ones which are starting to sprout outside or keep them in greenhouse?  


  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,746
    Don't put them out until they are substantial plants, they will be destroyed by molluscs.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • mac12mac12 Posts: 164
    I grow over 100 dahlias and never start them off inside as haven't the space and they always do ok 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,236
    Have you got a photo @Kitty52?
    It's odd that they aren't growing. As @punkdoc says, they can get annihilated very easily by slugs/snails, so they need protection from that as much as from weather.

    You must live in a very mild area @mac12. They wouldn't survive outdoors all year round here, or in many parts of the UK.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I'd really like to see some pictures and get some details, @Kitty 52 because I don't know what's going wrong. My dahlias are out and one is about to flower. Whereabouts in the country are you? Is your greenhouse cold/ frost free/heated? There is an answer, but I don't know what it is yet!
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 166
    Thanks for comments.  Some photos - apologies for quality but have marked tiny sprouts.  The just seem to have been like this for absolutely ages. Two on second row with no mark have nothing at all coming up.  I have been giving them trickles of water. In unheated greenhouse - temp in greenhouse this morning when I took these was 24 degrees. I'm in West of Scotland.
  • TerryannTerryann Posts: 38
    I think you need more water on them.   
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 166
    Thanks. I was trying to go along with suggestions that some people don’t water until they’ve sprouted and then not a lot but maybe I’ve been too cautious. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,236
    A greenhouse isn't really warm enough here in the early part of the year for things like dahlias @Kitty52 . The small plant I bought last year was brought into the house [from it's protected part of the shed] in late March/early April. The new ones I bought [during April] were already starting to sprout a little, and they were potted up and put out there, but with extra protection - I had another clear box over them. 
    April was also much warmer than usual here - if it had been more of a normal temp, they'd all have been kept in the house too. They've been growing well and are outside - been out for a few weeks, in a sheltered spot.
    If there's no growth on some, then they've probably had it, so I'd tip those out. If the tubers are soft or rotted, then they're no use. The others - well if they've been out in a cold greenhouse for a while, it might be a bridge too far now. 
    All you can do is water them - but be careful how much you give them, and keep them warm. 
    Vent your greenhouse through the day, even on days which aren't that hot, and close it up before it gets too cold in the evening - or sooner. It's the night time temps that are the problem more than the daytime.
    The only one that looks viable to me is the one on the top right, and the one above it. There doesn't look as if there's any sign of life on the others. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I think that once you start them off, you need to keep the minimum temperature at around 5° . That may have been the problem. However, I believe they need much more than a trickle of water. Perhaps you should try more water and give them a little longer. Good luck!
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 166
    Thanks Posy I have done that. Could I plant out the biggest one or leave while longer? I have one which I had grown from seed last year and decided to leave in the ground - it was in sheltered spot and it’s coming on great. A bit like people, can be fickle 😂
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