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Pruning dahlias and gladioli

TomskTomsk Posts: 204

I have a few dahlias and gladioli I planted this spring. They flowered, but now the last of the gladioli has lost its flowers and whilst the dahlia is still producing flowers, you can tell it's starting to wind down, with fewer new heads forming to replace the old ones.

The green stems of the gladioli are still very green and healthy, so should I leave them along or could I cut them down to the base now?

And once the last of the dahlia flowers is gone (when is that likely to be? I didn't expect them to still be flowering in October) should I cut the bush back down to the base?


Also, is it OK to plant dahlias and gladioli bulbs together with daffodil and tulip bulbs? My hope is I can densely pack both bulbs in the same areas so that the gladiolis and dahlias flower in the summer whils the daffs and tulips flower in the spring, without the need to dig up one set of bulbs and re-plant the other twice a year.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,166

    Hi Tomsk

    just bringing you back to the top. Can't help you otherwise, not my sort of plants

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Dahlias cant be left in the ground overwinter, otherwise they freeze to death. I give mine a feed towards the end of the season, then cut them back and lift them to store frost free overwinter. As for Glads I get a better result by doing the same thing.


    As for the planting, I've never tried what you are suggesting. By the time dahlias and Glads flower, the daffs and tulips would be long over and become dormant.

    You may be better off planting a perrenial above the daffs and tulips to take over after the bulbs.

    Deep planted tulips can sometimes come back, but the consensus is to lift then when the foliage has died back.

  • ElusiveElusive Posts: 992

    The problem is with those tubers/bulbs is that they all require different treatment. Dahlias and Gladioli are not so hardy.

    Tulips and Daffs are hardy, those can stay outside all year but not with the Dahlias and Gladioli in the same pot.

    I think this would be too much in a container. I would suggest using 2 containers and storing the 1 with the Dahlias and Gladioli somewhere cool and dry over the Winter

  • fred#60fred#60 Posts: 58

    If you leave Dahlias out over winter there is a chance they will survive depending on soil and their site situation. I accidentally left one out close to a hedge (dry) and east facing and that was last winter which lasted nearly 6 months. The choice is yours, but it is a gamble.

  • cut the dahlias stem at 6ins. gently brush off excess soil and store upside down until dry. dust with sulpher powder to stop rotting and wrap each one in plenty of newspaper and store in shed. i usually go the local chippy and ask for a couple of empty potato sacks to put the wrapped tubers in to keep frost out. leave the stem on to store. next spring watch for them starting to sprout and put in boxes of moist compost to get them going.

  • Dahlias can be deadheaded to encourage new blooms,but do not cut back leaves on Glads as they form a new bulb every year and without the leaves this wont happen.

    In the fall I cut back my Dahlias lay them on the lawn then wash them with a garden hose to remove all dirt,let them dry off for a day or so then store in used fertilizer/soil bags.Put these bags in cardboard box store box in furnace room (the warmest room in my house) and on the first of each month I open bags and remove tubers and give a good check for rot /mold/drying out.Glads get the same treatment.

  • mike2limike2li Posts: 29

    Hi terry

    My first year with a few dahlias and had planted about 10 - 12 and all have done really well . You say to cut the dahlias at 6 ins, but do you let the stems die down first like the advice for the gladioli, still a few with flowers on them too ,getting a bit sorry looking though . Any advice would be very helpful.






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