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Dahlia question - Help needed

Lorna95Lorna95 Posts: 436

Can some help me,  I thought I had planted all  my Dahlia's but I've come across another lot, the thing is I didn't divided them last year as I have trouble finding where to divide them, 

Now I can see the eyes on these ones, so can I divide them now ?

if so once I have divided them can I plant straight away if not then what do I do?

I have only been growing Dahlia's for about 3 years and have left them in the ground where they rotted, So I used pot and they still rotted in there, so I lifted them last year and they have come through ok, but need your help on dividing.

My other question is, I would like to grow my Dahlias in the ground so they get to a really good size, my soil is clay, what would you recommend I do to get my soil in to a good enough condition so I can plant my Dahlia's in to it.

Thank you for your help.


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Lorna, with care you can prize them apart keeping a bud on each division. It's tricky but I do it all the time. You can use a sharp knife as well. As for planting in clay I find the best solution is to grow them on in pots firstly till they're sizeable then plant out. I'd say improving your soil with grit and manure in the Autumn will help hugely. Dahlia's can do really well in clay, but overall improvement of clay can only help. 

  • mushermusher Posts: 389
    Hi Lorna Put the entire bunch of tubers in to a seed tree. Feel 2/3 0f the way up your tubers with barely moist compost. And if you can place on a heat mat to get the roots kicked started

    There are two ways to take cuttings. One is. Once the babies burst out of the eyes. Let them grow on to 2 or 3". Then make ac lean cut cut under the basal node. Dip in rooting powder. Plant up 3 to a pot in compost and perlite. Nip off any big basal leaves and the same to the growing tip.
  • mushermusher Posts: 389
    Wait until late may befor planting out in to your garden. I agree with Dave . Dig plenty of manure in to your soil. over a number of years. It will break down in to wonderful rich crumbly soil. The rotting over winter it sounds like you may have stored them to wet.

    The other cutting method is as above.But instead of cutting under the basal node. Make a cut lower down and take a thin slice of tuber away attached to the cutting
  • Lorna95Lorna95 Posts: 436

    Thank you Dave and musher for the info,  I bought some grit the other day as it was on special, thought I would end up using it some howimage, Think I will grow my Dahlia's in pot's this year until I improve the soil and see what it is like next year.

    I will try and take some cuttings this year, never done them beforeimage

    if I divide the tubers, can I plant them straight away or do I have to let them dry out, sorry for all the questions, just have never done it before. 

  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,454

    Hi Lorna I grow my dahlias on clay and lift them at the end of the season.

    I grow my dahlia in the cold GH until planting time which is late May / early June ( I pot them up first week in March ). By this time the Dahlias are quite large, I dig compost into the planting hole and add feed, thats about it other than feeding with tomato food and stalking - dead heading. 

  • Lorna95Lorna95 Posts: 436

    Thanks Perki, I too have my Dahlias in a cold GH, I was worried if I put them in to clay this year then the tubers might rot, but if it has worked for you I might give it ago.

    Thank you everyone for all your help.

  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,454

    Clay hold onto lots of nutrients and Dahlia are greedy feeders. If your worried the tubers will rot add some grit / compost / manure and even old compost can improve soil structure. 

  • Lorna95Lorna95 Posts: 436

    Thank you Perki, this has helped me out loads, I will try them in the ground this year then and hope they do well, thank you for all your help.image

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