Forum home Tools and techniques unintended trial

Hello everyone, I grow lots of dahlias every year... they never went out of fashion in this garden! image  However I noticed today an interesting result of my efforts. In an effort to be reasonably scientific with the trial I never intended the results are as follows:-

1. Tubers lifted last autumn and stored in dry stable, potted up a few weeks ago. These have almost all thrived with very few losses image

2. Tubers not lifted and left in the ground, mulched with old potting compost. These have all survived the coldest winter for years.image

3. Tubers in large tubs, left in tubs and overwintered in GH, still in same compost with liquid feed added, all doing well.image

4. New tubers, bought from GC in spring (carefully choosing largest/plumpest available), potted up ...significant failures/no-shows imageimage

The moral of this tale is that you should trust your own efforts and that the growers/GCs need to raise their game. For about 1/3 not to grow is unacceptable.

I would be interested to hear your dahlia stories this year.



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    The ones I left in the garden, no sign.  3 that I wrapped up in layers of newspaper and put in a cardboard box in the Gh, dead. I think they knew i didn't really like them

  •  Nut,You may be colder in the far east, as I am in the deep south. The dahlias I store are just put in cardboard boxes, which are piled up in my stable (no horses) and covered in fleece/hessian. This allows the air to circulate which is important probably.

    This autumn I think I will leave all my dahlias in the ground. Not only does it seem to work here but I could do with a bit less work as the years go by.image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    We have to look to how we're going to cope later. One of my strategies is to plant theslopy bits of garden with evergreen plants so I don't have to walk on them in my old age. It may be too late.

    My MIL's technique was to wrap them up and put them down the middle of the garage so they were between the wheels of the car. At some point most winters there'd be a casualty

  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    Interesting. I left one Dahlia in the ground and it started to grow until I speared it in twane with my fork. It was very wet here in December, so am suprised to have seen it, as well as the Canna. Some Canna and Dahlia rotted for me in pots, even being in the garage from Nov-March. All lifted plants are fine. So my thoughts are leave them or dry them off properly and store.

  • I always lose a few, which is to be expected. This year I have been surprised at how many of the newly bought ones have failed to start.

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    The ones I lleft in pots survived, though one was very late starting and I did think Ihad lost it. Some were in the cold greenhouse over winter, some not - the larger pots I just could not move.  Don't have so many but all OK so far. 

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,190

    I've found growing dahlias far easier to grow from seed rather than tubers.

    The seed grown one's have produced cracking tubers after flowering, which stored well over winter but most have never grown again in spring. This year I bought two new tubers...and...only one sproutedimage.

    The tubers which sprouted are in pots and romping away, seeded ones still fairly small, but outside in pots and I'm confident they'll produce some cracking flowers.

    Excellent trial Ww. Pots in GH, seems like a good plan for my seed grown dahlias, or putting in a sheltered spot at the end of this year.

  • little-annlittle-ann Posts: 878

    i am growing dahlias for the first time this year i bought the tubers from peter nyssen who i buy my bulbs from, all but two have grown but im not sure if it is beter for the plant to take some of the shoots off or nip them out, as you are the expert WW advice please

  • It is a good idea to pinch out the main shoots as this causes the plant to bush out with more flowering shoots and it will be stronger and less leggy. It will delay flowering for a bit but as they flower until the first frosts this is not really a problem. You MUST deadhead them to keep the flowering going full pelt, and it is a good idea to take the flower stalk down as far as possible ( but above any new buds) as otherwise you will eventually have a sea of stalks which detracts from their beauty. they are good for cutting for the house or giving to friends and this is good for them also. Enjoy, and you will buy more next year. 


  • little-annlittle-ann Posts: 878

    thanks very much i will send pictures when they flower and no doubt ask for more advice

Sign In or Register to comment.