Dahlias forum: Viral or nutritional?

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Name: drorchid
Superior, Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Jul 26, 2019 4:02 AM CST

I had orded a bunch of Dahlia bulbs this spring,  and I am excited as the first are starting to bloom, and they look amazing, but my concern is the plants and the foliage.  On especially the older leaves on some of the varieties I am seeing a yellowing pattern. Do you think this is nutritional or viral? I grew them in pots indoors from mid March to mid May, transplanted them to the outside beds, added compost, tomato/vegetable food which is relatively low on Nitrogen.

Thank you in advance for your comments.

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Name: Dan
NE Ohio (Zone 6a)
Jul 26, 2019 9:27 AM CST
Welcome to the dahlia forum! I'm not sure what's causing that but I see the same thing on some of my plants every year. Dahlias are susceptible to a variety of viruses, many of which don't seem to affect blooming. I don't worry much unless the leaves turn brown and crinkly. As long as you're not over-fertilizing I doubt it's a nutritional problem. You also might want to check the underside of the leaves for evidence of spider mites. I always strip off the bottom 8-10" of leaves. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge/experience will chime in.
Name: Melissa
Omaha, NE (Zone 5b)
Dahlias Cat Lover Region: Nebraska Annuals Cut Flowers Butterflies
Daylilies Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jul 26, 2019 8:07 PM CST
I am not an expert, but your newer leaves look fine, so my guess is that those older, lower leaves are just showing their age. I would just pull them off and continue forth! Weather and bugs can affect the leaves in many different ways.

I pulled a virused plant last week (should have taken a pic, but I was crabby about it), and only because it was blatantly obvious. Green and yellow veiny leaves, along with being crinkly.

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