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Dahlias destroyed by animal in garden

Hello Gardeners' World forum

I have (or had may be more appropriate) a beautiful patch of dahlias that I've grown from the tubers this year in my back garden. An animal got in last night and has mown down three of them - two have about one live shoot remaining, on the third they are all broken. 

I have a rather large empty patch in the border now and would quite like to have something in it!

Should I just leave the tuber where it is and hope it sprouts again? Is there any hope for shoots that are partially broken but still attached? 

Also any tips for keeping cats out of the garden/beds gratefully received! 


  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    its unlikely be cats breaking your dahlia's, more likely foxes.

    leave the tubers where they are and they should produce shoots again this year, you might even get some very late flowers.

  • mushermusher Posts: 389

    Two or three of mine have had big chunks amputated from them Melanie by heavy down pours.Their now throwing up healthy new shoots.They've amazed me. I bought them as plug plants this year. Their romping on 4 foot tall. Just swaves of flowers and buds. And like you say a glorious sight to be hold.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,998

    Wood pigeons have broken some of my plants by trying to perch on them ... they're not very bright image

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

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,297

    When faced with animal depredation, I make cages out of wire mesh and keep them in place with pieces of bent wire pushed into the soil. The plant will grow through the holes in the mesh and the base is protected from further damage. If you want to go all poncy about it then you can use bent willow or something similar that will blend in with the general garden ambience.

  • Melanie35Melanie35 Posts: 10

    Thanks so much for all the replies! 

    I'm pretty sure it is cats - there is quite a large gang of them round here and they seem to have picked my garden for fighting in...I can hear them in the evening.

    Think I'll get some more wire mesh/supports round them and see if I can stake it in quite deep. Was avoiding this due to a tight budget but definitely better than the heartache of lost plants!

    Very glad to hear the stories of dahlias that have returned after damage though, so will persevere with these I think as they're really healthy otherwise. 

    @Verdun like your ideas - might pop a pot in the gap for now with some stuff in to give it a bit of colour then I can move it if I do get anything growing back!

  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

    It could be slugs not an animal. I had two dahlias I grew from tubers which were totally decimated by slugs. Slugs have really sharp teeth and they are very savage to plants!! the stems were snapped, leaves broken completely and I really thought these dahlias wouldn't survive. But I used pellets around the dahlias (sorry!) and no more slug and the dahlias grew back and are fine now. It took a few weeks for them to recover but it is possible.

  • Fluffy CloudFluffy Cloud Posts: 200

    Doghouse Riley... I,ve had several new shoots from my plants chewed off by deers!! Saw one one morning having his breakfast!! I may try your wire protector over some of my plants. My precious roses were badly affected.

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