Dahlias forum: Need help with gifted dahlia

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Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Feb 1, 2018 6:00 PM CST
Last summer someone gifted to me 3 dahlia's. They produced beautiful flowers. This past Fall, I dug them up, cut off the stems and placed them in a paper bag for 2 weeks. I moved them into a bucket of peat moss. The peat moss covered them completely. Yesterday I went down to the unheated basement and sure enough some of them are sprouting leaves - about 6" tall. What do I do now? We have snow on the ground here on Long Island and can't be transplanted till the middle of May at the earliest. I really have no idea how to properly care for dahlias. If someone could direct me to a helpful site or offer advice it would be much appreciated. Thanks a bunch.
Margie, Long Island, NY zone 6
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Feb 1, 2018 6:37 PM CST
Arlene is the lady for you as she also lives in New York. I am sure she will be here by the by to check on dahlia progress for 2018 so I am sure she will offer help. Also Dan who says to just cut off the sprouts - they will sprout again. But I would wait for them. I'm no expert.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan (Zone 5b)

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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frankrichards16
Feb 1, 2018 6:46 PM CST
Normally if I were going to save the entire tuber ball, I would just put them in a paper bag and be done with it. The bucket with peat moss might have been to moist and caused some growth... hard to say.

can you post some photos?
Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Feb 1, 2018 7:40 PM CST

Thumb of 2018-02-02/MargieNY/53df0e


Thumb of 2018-02-02/MargieNY/749e59

I know there are lots of tubers underneath these. Of course, I don't know if the buried ones not showing yet are any good.
Thank youFrank. You are correct, it might have been the peat moss. The temps here have been a like a yoyo - another possible factor. One week it's 50 degrees the next freezing. Last week it was warmer - maybe too warm in the basement.
Thank you Mary for your suggestions.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan (Zone 5b)

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
frankrichards16
Feb 1, 2018 9:35 PM CST
Looks like they have been exposed to too much light? You could try covering them up...
Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Feb 1, 2018 10:31 PM CST
Hmm - quite possibly from the basement window - good catch Frank.
Name: Dan
NE Ohio (Zone 6a)
psudan
Feb 2, 2018 9:46 AM CST
I've never had any tubers to sprout during storage. Mine are always kept in the coolest, darkest place I can find till late March/early April. I've heard you can cut back any growth. I've accidentally broken off a few sprouts in the spring. As I recall, they always re-sprouted.

I've always found it comical how some stores around here seem to try to be the first to display spring bulbs, some by mid-February. With a little warmth and the bright lights in the store, growth accelerates. By early spring, some of the dahlias have pale green 8-10" sprouts curling around inside the bags. These will be 50% off in July. LOL
Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Feb 2, 2018 3:33 PM CST
[quote="psudan"]I've never had any tubers to sprout during storage. Mine are always kept in the coolest, darkest place I can find till late March/early April. I've heard you can cut back any growth. I've accidentally broken off a few sprouts in the spring. As I recall, they always re-sprouted.

Well, that's exactly what I finally decided to do this morning after much thought. I removed the new growth. I moved the bucket/pail to a dark corner of the basement. And covered the bucket with heavy cardboard. I left a very small portion ajar to allow for some air circulation as I do not want a moisture build up to allow for possible fungus growth.
This certainly has been a learning experience for me. I will be purchasing more dahlias. Do most growers use tomato cages to secure dahlias or do you have other suggestions?
I thank everyone who responded to my post for your most "helpful encouraging" advice.


Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Feb 3, 2018 4:05 PM CST
Sorry I'm so late, Margie, but I'd do as you've done. Maybe it was the moisture in the peat moss that encouraged them to begin growth.

I'm still torn as to what I'll use this year for staking. Much depends on the height of the dahlia. Some sites will claim 4' while the plant stops at 2.5 to 3'. Normally I use copper piping that Jack had cut to various lengths for me - 3.5, 4 and 5'. Still, the dahlias spread wide as well as high so it's an ongoing issue for me. They go left and right. I have signs all over that say TIE UP DAHLIAS, but fail to keep up with it. I did consider tomato cages since tomatoes here are so strong they bring down the cages anyhow.
Thumb of 2018-02-03/pirl/263e8d

Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan (Zone 5b)

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
frankrichards16
Feb 3, 2018 4:59 PM CST
Most of the time I use 4 foot fiberglass poles from Tractor supply. For tall dahlias I sometimes use 54" heavy duty tomato cages.


Thumb of 2018-02-03/frankrichards16/7c69cb

Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Feb 3, 2018 7:17 PM CST
Do the shorter border, mignon and gallery types have to be staked?
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Feb 3, 2018 7:34 PM CST
No. You're in luck.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan (Zone 5b)

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
frankrichards16
Feb 3, 2018 7:58 PM CST
I pound a stake in for each dahlia tuber that I plant. I do this to mark the location of the planted tuber:) Sometimes I use a short stake for short dahlias, depends on what I have on hand.

In reality, many dahlias do not need to be staked. However, a good wind sometimes blow them over. Or, for whatever reason some of them are lazy and just bend over...

When that happens, I carefully raise the stem and tie it to the stake that I inserted to mark the location.

Also, I sometimes just add stakes to provide support for wayward dahlias:)

Oh yes, one more option... when they blow over, just leave them. They usually still produce great blooms:) You just have to bend over for a close look.

Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Feb 3, 2018 8:06 PM CST
pirl said:Sorry I'm so late, Margie, but I'd do as you've done. Maybe it was the moisture in the peat moss that encouraged them to begin growth.

I Normally I use copper piping that Jack had cut to various lengths for me - 3.5, 4 and 5'. Still, the dahlias spread wide as well as high so it's an ongoing issue for me. They go left and right. I have signs all over that say TIE UP DAHLIAS, but fail to keep up with it.
Thumb of 2018-02-03/pirl/263e8d


Wow Arlene, your flowers are beautiful. I love the decorative knob on your copper pipes - very cool!
Do you pinch off your young dahlia's to make them more bushy and shorten their height?
Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Feb 3, 2018 8:24 PM CST
frankrichards16 said:Most of the time I use 4 foot fiberglass poles from Tractor supply. For tall dahlias I sometimes use 54" heavy duty tomato cages.


Thumb of 2018-02-03/frankrichards16/7c69cb


I'll make sure I buy the "heavy duty" tomato cages, Frank
Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Feb 3, 2018 8:39 PM CST
Frank, I see from your photo that you label them - good idea - I do that with my roses and irises. By the way, that flower is a real beauty - very nice indeed. That's a good idea to insert a stake in the ground as you plant them in order to keep track.
"Oh yes, one more option... when they blow over, just leave them. They usually still produce great blooms:) You just have to bend over for a close look."

LOL That's what I had to do last summer - just left them arched over - it was too late to stake them - the rain weighed the flowers down.
Thank you for all your helpful hints.
I am looking forward to everyone's photos.
Everyone, here's to a successful dahlia growing season - Cheers!
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Feb 3, 2018 8:48 PM CST
I do pinch them, Margie, but not often enough.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Feb 4, 2018 12:18 PM CST
This is a link to the many dahlias Mandolls/Geof sells: 4 pages of temptation. They are $3.00 each, plus shipping. Read all the details to make your order worthwhile.

https://garden.org/lists/view/...
Long Island, NY (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
MargieNY
Feb 4, 2018 1:03 PM CST
Arlene you must be reading my mind - thanks for the link. I guess I will have to look them up individually - I can't tell which ones are the shorter dahlia's of which I am seeking.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Feb 4, 2018 3:35 PM CST
He has photos and descriptions here on NGA. It's a relaxing respite from a major football game.

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