Dahlia Tuber

janlinjanlin Posts: 17

Hi, Last year I grew a lovely Dahlia in a pot on the Patio. In the Autumn I packed the tuber in a cardboard box with shredded paper. As I am very much a novice to all this. When do I have to pot it up and bring it into life again.


  • You can put it in shallow compost and it will start to come into bud ideally indoors until the risk of frost has passed if you want cuttings can be taken as well.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 14,121

    maybe I'm lazy, or maybe it's because I've got over 200 of the flippin things : but I leave them dry until they start to shoot before I put them in compost. I don't pack them over winter, I just lift them and leave them all on a sheet of plastic on the ( frost free ) garage floor until they start to show new growth then pot them up. Mimi3, have a look to see if you can divide your tuber. Sometimes you'll find obvious places to split them. You'll be able to see last year's dry stems and a cluster of tubers, but with care, you can often use a sharp knife to make new plants.

  • allium2allium2 Posts: 413

    Hosts - 200? Wow I thought we had a lot and we have 15. image

  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    I grew mine in pots last year. I decided to pull them up and store in the shed. I'm glad I did a this year it wouldn't have been the frost that got them, they would have rotted in the buckets due to all the rain. I wouldn't have had room to put the buckets in the GH.

    Hi Mike, I think much depends on where you live.  

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    I agree with Mike.  When we first had our raised beds here I grew dahlia seeds to provide cheap colour for the latter part of the summer.  We had very little money.  I thought they were annuals.  A jolly display they made.  I was therefore surprised when they re-appeared the following summer and the summer after that.  Then there was a harsh winter and that was the end of them.  A winter like the one we've just had, they would have survived, so given there is little chance of a prolonged bitter cold spell now, there is probably no reason why you couldn't bury them now - will be a while before they come up.  Our beds were covered in bark chippings, but anything that keeps them a bit cosy would probably do the trick.  Depends where you are in the country though.

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Oh KEF - snap!  was writing and posting while you were.  I have to say we have a mild climate in Lincolnshire - although we're quite far north, it is very easy-going on us.  It is only the flatness that has us flooding, not the rainfall.  Our beds ARE raised, and our garden sheltered.  I hadn't thought about sodden ground issues, only frost.  Good point.

  • To be honest everytime I've lifted mine to put them in a different spot they have come up the following year from the same place I've lifted them from so I agree you can either lift them or leave them. Now when it comes time to lift them I lift half and leave half it seems to work. Last year I grew dwarf dahlias from seed they are easy to grow and they also form tubers that you can split.

  • cairnsiecairnsie Posts: 389

    I grew dwarf dahlia from seed and couldn't believe the size of the tubers they were massive and performed well. Gonna grow a lot more this year.

  • ElusiveElusive Posts: 992

    Ive started off Dahlias on my windowsill. Potted them up on the 9th February.

    I have all single flowered varieties for the bees, I dont like all those double/cactus varieties, I find them too artificial.

    I have Pooh, Bishop of Llandaff, Roxanne, Twyning's Smartie and Twyning's after eight.

    Practically all have shoots showing already and these will be strong plants by Early Summer image

  • I bought some of ebay this year just to get something different from the norm. Will let you know how they get on.

    Cairnsie the tubers are big from the dwarfs I sold some of them that I grew to customers and kept some myself and couldn't believe the size of the tubers.

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    While we're on dahlias..... (and I'm totally with you on the bee thing Matt!)  Does anyone have any recommendations for seeds which are single coloured?  When I grew them, they were a 'riot of colour', but I'm not dead keen on pink with yellow.  But is it impossible to get a packet of seed with uniform colour?  Last year I bought 6 orange coloured dahlia plants for 50p (going cheap at the GC, like everything else in my cheapskate garden) and I have tried planting some of their seeds, but don't know if they will come out the same or revert to type.  Most seed packets seem to show that any colour is possible. 

  • I have only grown mixed colours of the singles.  I think your best way would probably be to split the tubers of the colours you want and pullout the colours you don't. As to whether the seed will be the same colour I'm not sure if you've grown different colours I'm not sure if they would change if cross pollinated. I guess time will tell. 

  • Busy bee2 there are some on ebay that are single colours.

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    It's an interesting question.  There were no other dahlias in the garden apart from the orange ones.  When I had my grown from seed ones, I did think about splitting the colours, but had got so blase about them coming up every year, and then we had a bad winter and that was that.  The rest of the garden comes up yellow, orange, red in late summer, which is why this year I will be growing Thompson and Morgan's much publicised 'Brightness Mixed' cosmos as opposed to the normal pink, which does very well, but clashes a bit colour-wise.  Not a lot of thought has gone into my raised flower beds over the years, at times they look great, but at other points, they are a bit random.  I need to get my head round them this year.

  • janlinjanlin Posts: 17

    Many thanks to you all for your advice.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 14,121

    I hate that we have to buy "mixed" seeds. If I want a mix, let me pick those colours and I'll have a mix. Don't impose your mix upon me. GGGRRRRRRR.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,348

    Dahlias are one of the most promiscuous of cross-pollinators and you never really know what you will get from seed saved from ones grown in your garden.  The clue is probably in the name: "variabilis"!  image There are literally thousands of scientific papers on the subject of their genetics.

    Best thing to do is to sow lots then wait for them to flower and remove those you don't like.  If you get one or two you really like and want to multiply, then lift the tubers over winter, start them off in a deep tray the next spring and keep cutting and propagating the new shoots, all of which will grow into identical plants to the 'mother' tuber.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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