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dahlia size

REMF33REMF33 Posts: 673
edited June 2022 in The potting shed
Another silly question from me... is there any correlation between the collective size of dahlia tubers (a 'bunch' of them- I am sure there is a more appropriate term) and how big the plant will get? I have, of course, lost some of the labels for last year's, which I potted up some time ago and which are now ready to be potted on. Basically, I followed Sarah Raven's advice and put the tubers in pots just big enough to hold them to start them off in the greenhouse.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,671
    The bigger the cluster of tubers, usually the more shoots come up.  When the cluster gets too big, they split fairly easily.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    If you keep them from year to year, they get bigger and bigger.
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 673
    It's not the number in the cluster so much as the size of the tubers within the cluster. (Although of course one affects the other.) Some dahlias are naturally taller than others, and I was wondering if there is any correlation with the size of the individual tubers and the tallness of the plant.
    I suppose I can look at the ones I do have labels for and see if their future likely size reflects the size of the initial pot I have planted them in.
    This all said, I don't remember having any small ones last year, so it might be that some are just individual ones that fell off a cluster.
    I guess I can always pot on again if the next pot seems too small.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,696
    edited June 2022
    Big tubers do not mean big plants [ as in tall, they do mean lots of stems.
    A big tuber may produce a short plant.
    i am not sure whether this was what your question was asking.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    "I was wondering if there is any correlation with the size of the individual tubers and the tallness of the plant."

    I don't think so. As PD suggests, a large bunch of large sausages will make for a generally big, chunker plant, and therefore the size of the pot needed. The height is determined by the genetics of the variety. D. Happy Days will always be small. D. Admiral Rawlings will always be tall.
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 673
    I think I was asking a silly question tbh @punkdoc :)

    Thanks, Fire. I didn't think the size of the tubers determined the size of the plant - I just wondered if there was a correlation. I think the way to go is just to pot on if it looks like they need it. I suppose I was being a little lazy. I don't enjoy potting on! (Plus with dahlias, there is a risk of stem breakage, but that's not the end of the world.)
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,427
    Hello REM33, I also follow Sarah Raven,she also says pot them really early (obviously if you have a green house) cover the pot completely to exclude light,and no peeking (her words) for 10 days. I used to do this. I never pot on, smallest pots the tubers will fit into, the bigger varieties go in borders,rest stay in the pots. Never caused them any problems 
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 673
    Ah interesting. But I suppose it does depend on how many 'fingers' there are in the hand? I have not potted up any of the ones I have in anything bigger than 9 inch pots. Most much smaller. But at least one of the new ones may grow to be 1.5m. It's definitely going to need a much bigger, teracotta pot.
    (The ones I have lost labels for were the few I decided to take out of pots to over winter, last year.)
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