Dahlias forum→Do tubers deteriorate with age?

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Apr 30, 2020 5:08 PM CST
I live on the Texas Gulf Coast which is not an area known for dahlias but I have done well so far by raising beds and misting in the heat of the day.. But I do my best with fresh tubers from one of the large bulb companies. The fresh tubers bloom stronger and larger than tubers that I saved from the year before despite the fact that the older tubers look A1 healthy. I'm trying to decide if I will have better garden by buying new every year. I buy around 40 bulbs in groups of five.

Do your tubers lose vitality with age? (kinda like us)

Thank You
Mike Lynch
Name: Dan
NE Ohio (Zone 6a)
Apr 30, 2020 7:45 PM CST
Hi Mike, Are the "fresh tubers" you buy single tubers or clumps? I normally plant about two thirds individual tubers and the other third packaged clumps from Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. When I dig in the fall, the plants from single tubers have usually produced clumps with lots of new growth. I divide these clumps and can sometimes get a half dozen or more new tubers from some plants. The only deterioration is the original tuber (mother) which has likely lost vitality and is thrown away, or has already rotted. I don't get near as much from plants grown from the packaged clumps, sometimes a couple, sometimes none. I just always plan to buy more the following year. Since, I grow 150-180 a year I don't have room to store that many clumps. So I divide in the fall and wrap the tubers in Saran wrap.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jun 24, 2020 8:54 AM CST
Some do but most don't. Generally the ones that performed poorly are trashed anyhow. No reason to think they'd do better for the following year.

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