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Dahlias

Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

Hi,

My wife and I bought a couple of ex display dahlias from RHS Wisley flower show a few months back and got them back to Essex in once piece in the back of my car. (they were really tall). They are not cut flowers but planted in 10inc pots.

The flowers were lovely, each plant having around 5-10 pom pom flowers on. They all quickly shrivelled up though and needed to be deadheaded. I was under the impression that new flowers would come through but they didn't.

On the walk to work this morning I went past a house that had 2 dahlias in their front garden, both of which are still well in flower and looking spritely.

Can you think of any reasons why ours died off early yet these other dahlias still look healthy? Perhaps its because mine was left it the 10inch pots?

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  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,237

    Were they kept well watered and fed? Dahlias need lots of water and are very greedy.

    A 10 inch pot is quite small for a big plant.

    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Hmm, possibly not watered enough I would imagine. They certainly wasn't fed either.

    We was a bit naughty really, we should have repotted them or stuck them in the ground.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,428

    If they have worthwhile tubers then keep them cool, dark and frost free through the winter. Plant them or pot them into bigger pots next spring, don't forget to feed and water and you should have them back for longer next year.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    @ Busy-Lizzie,

    Do you mean water and feed them over the winter or just in the spring when they get replanted?

    They are currently cut down to little stump and left in their pots inside the shed. Will that be suffice or should I removed the tubers and dry them out etc..

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,857

    You dont need to water or feed over winter. Tip the pots on their side so any water can drain out. If we have a big freeze, a cardboard box and crumpled newspaper will help keep them frost free.  In spring, bring into the light, water after shoots break the surface.  After the last frost has gone, probably end of May, plant them out in soil and then feed and water regularly.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,428

    I meant water and feed next year, not in the winter. They'll be asleep in the winter! I leave my tubers upside down to dry for a few days then pack them in a cardboard box with wood shavings in it. But newspaper is fine, easier to get hold of.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Ok thanks for the insight, very helpful!

  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    My 2 dahlia tubers have sprouted now and are both around a 1ft tall with several stems. When i bought them last year they were both tall at around 4-5 ft tall. I would prefer shorter bushier plants. Should I pinch out the tops or something or are some varieties meant to be tall? 

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,428

    Some varieties are meant to be tall and some varieties are short. Pinching out makes plants bushier.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Ok thanks. I think my ones are meant to be tall (they were ex display dahlias at rhs Wisley flower show). That said I will pinch out the tops anyway to try and promote bushiness. 

    I am afraid that slugs and snails will kill them off if i put them in the ground.  They always tend to eat the shoots of new dahlias in past years when they come up. Because they are now around a ft tall, do you think they will stand more chance of surviving an onslaught if i plant them out? 

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