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Dahlia Eyes growing on previous season stalk

I'm based out of NY and as shown in the image, there appear to be eyes growing on a Dahlia stalk from last season.  I'm looking for advice on what I should do here.  Should I leave as is?  Doesn't feel like the old stalk will be able to provide proper nourishment or even support the weight of new growth.  I didn't think this was possible, but I admit my plant knowledge is minimal... Questioning if I'm properly remembering what the original plant was


  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,304
    Dahlias grow from the old stalk. The tubers have no 'eyes'  or growth points. So don't damage the ones you have there. When I grew them commercially many many years ago we used to take cuttings from those new growths when they were about 2 inches long and grow them on for new plants. Otherwise, plant the whole thing, tubers and stem at about the same level as it grew last season, once there is no danger of frost and away you go.
  • Sweet, thanks for the answer @Palustris, for some reason everything I was googling said the tubers have eyes and nothing mentioned the stem 🤷🏾‍♂️.  Per your advice, will plant post last frost 👍🏾
  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,504
    Are you sure that a Dahlia ? I am going to stick my neck out and say that's a Lily, dahlias don't grow shoots on the stems but lily's do and they look like mini lily bulbs 
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    I would agree with Perki,  never seen lily like bulbs on a dead dahlia stem, but if Palustris has grown them commercially we must be wrong.  
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,894
    I also think it looks like a lily, but they don't sprout from the stem either - the stem's dead at that point and just breaks off. New growth then comes from the base - the bulb. There looks to be a new, little green sprout appearing - just to the left of that stem, and it looks lily like. The ones I have in pots are just beginning to break through here and there. 
    Very interesting though. I expect it's best to wait and see what happens  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,946
    edited February 2023
    Those look like Lily stem bulbils to me … some varieties grow little bulbils on the stem … I seem to remember ‘tiger lilies’ do this … 
    see the photos here

    more info here

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,894
    Ah - that would explain it @Dovefromabove. I don't grow the tiger ones, but I wouldn't have thought they grew on a dying/dead stem.  I tend to just split the bulbs in the usual way rather than use the little bulbils I occasionally get. 

    Every day's a school day  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • bédébédé Posts: 3,074
    The bulbils probably formed last year and are now surviving on the dead stem.  My regal lilies have these.
     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,304
    Did not see the image, they don't always appear on my screen, so I just answered the question itself. Not a Dahlia stem, so probably a lily. My  bulbil producing lilies did not retain them like that though over winter, they al fell off at the end of the season.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,894
    Yes - that's what happens with mine @Palustris - the bulbils drop or die off usually, as they don't really develop. We have a much shorter season here anyway though, so I don't often have them to start with. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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