Dahlias forum: Stem Shriveled/Collapsed on Itself

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Name: Erin
Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 5b)
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ErinGerg
May 10, 2018 2:28 PM CST
Hello all! This is my 3rd year growing dahlias, and I usually have around 10+ tall and 30+ short. I had 20 tall to start indoors this year, and I've just moved them out earlier this week to harden and grow stronger before I will transplant to my garden at the end of this month. (Zone 5b-6a).

Though I'm using the same lighting system as always, my stems are looking a bit puny this year. I did try to start them a little earlier (early March as opposed to April, last year), and I divided the tubers more than I have in the past.

This stem has just shriveled up in one spot. It does not seem to be cut anywhere. It just collapsed. I don't think there is any rot from initial inspection. Has anyone seen this before? Just curious if it is some kind of pest that I should be looking out for. I'm starting a new ("OMG") dahlia this year and it's pricey! I don't want to lose it. :D

Thanks!

Erin
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
May 10, 2018 7:32 PM CST
Looks almost like botrytis which affects peonies. My guess would be rot, too wet. You could try a 10% bleach solution just in case it is a fungus
Name: Erin
Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 5b)
Image
ErinGerg
May 11, 2018 7:08 AM CST
Oberon46 said:Looks almost like botrytis which affects peonies. My guess would be rot, too wet. You could try a 10% bleach solution just in case it is a fungus


Yes, they didn't get any additional watering from me, and they were quite dry (enough that I was getting worried about them being too dry), but then we got two storms, two days in a row which I suppose may have done it. The tubers are firm when I poke, so someone has suggested to me that it is stem rot.

Would you dump the pot and start over, or just spray the soil as is and wait for a new shoot?
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
May 11, 2018 4:55 PM CST
I would treat the stem rot and leave them alone. If the tubers are firm, you stand a good chance that they will send up new eyes. lol. I had written a long note regarding the hardiness of peonies that have shown rot and then realized that I was (once again) mixing up my favorite plants.
[Last edited by Oberon46 - May 11, 2018 4:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Erin
Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 5b)
Image
ErinGerg
May 20, 2018 2:02 PM CST
They actually seem to be doing quite well now. I'm not sure what happened, but they are both growing two healthy looking stems where there was one without issue.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
May 22, 2018 10:39 AM CST
That's great. Maybe they just got a bit of 'spring nip.'

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