Dahlia Help/Advice Needed Please

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by DMM, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. DMM

    DMM Apprentice Gardener

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    I'm very new to growing dahlias but my grandfather grew them and they bring back fond memories so thought I would give them a try. After much research I decided on gallery/dwarf varieties - as I only have a small south facing 'yarden' which couldn't accommodate the taller varieties. Ordered tubers from a Netherlands supplier [again after much research] but once three of them had grown [one didn't do a thing at all] it was obvious that none of them were what I'd actually ordered. The 3 that did grow and flower were totally the wrong colour and one was a really weedy collarette type too. Plus they grew to about 4ft tall, which is far too large for my area. Waaaaa. I had them in a raised bed I'd made but they dwarfed everything else in there! I decided I'd leave them and they'd probably die off if I didn't lift them [even though I don't usually like to kill off growing things]. Now this year off they jolly well go - not dead at all - they're shooting up all like billyo!! I can't bring myself to dig them up and bin them and I've now learned [after yet more research :) ] that I should have pinched them out anyway - to make the plant bushier [and hopefully more compact].
    Sorry this is such a long post but what I'd really appreciate some advice on is:
    There are about 6 shoots from one of the tubers and 9 from the other. Videos I've watched online about dahlias show people removing all but one shoot that's coming from the tuber before they plant them out - I have loads of shoots, do I really need to remove all but one strong one? I will pinch them out but will I just be pinching one of the lovely little green lovelies or can I leave 'em all and pinch away at each of them?
    I know it took me an awful long time to get to the point but I wanted to explain fully.
    Thanks for your time and hopefully some guidance ... if anyone who sees this is still awake after reading the above!
     
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    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      Hello DMM, firstly those dahlias will probably grow even taller and bigger this year.
      If you allow fewer shoots those shoots will grow even taller with bigger flowers. I would simply allow your plants to develop naturally now.:)
      I would research dwarf dahlias or keep your eyes alert to them growing in garden centres and nurseries and buy them then, as seen, and take notice of their descriptions.
      At the end of summer you, if you wish, can dig up the dahlias you have and give them away or plant elsewhere
      Coincidentally, earlier today I dug up a huge dahlia here that usually grows to well over 6’ and divided it. Enough for a couple of large pots and to give away. It had really outgrown its space.:)
       
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      • Perki

        Perki Super Gardener

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        The video you may of watch @DMM are probably showing their dahlia at flower shows and want all the energy going into a few flower buds. Its not necessary to remove shoots all the way to the base unless you want them for cutting. I would still pinch out the top shoots, I picture will help determine if it worth pinching out.
         
      • DMM

        DMM Apprentice Gardener

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        Thanks for your reply Verdun ....
        Waaa really? Bigger and taller? I can't cope!!!
        I did research dwarf dahlias actually and that's when I came across the "gallery" ones which is what I did in fact order. The supplier reimbursed me as ,when I sent them photos of them in all their glory, they knew they'd messed up. I'll leave the shoots then as advised but I am definitely going to pinch them out. Can't have them blocking out my views from the kitchen of all the other stuff in my tiny yarden again!
         
      • DMM

        DMM Apprentice Gardener

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        Thanks Perki - I think you may be right. Some of the vids were for show flowers. Thanks for reminding me. I will pinch and see what occurs!
         
      • Jack Sparrow

        Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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        I have dahlia bolero in 2 pots either side of my front door. They are probably in their 4th year now. 2 years ago there was a lot of leaf but very few flowers. Last years display was much better. This year the foliage has come again as good as ever. The flowers tend to be later in the season so there might still be a bit of a wait yet.

        G.
         
      • Verdun

        Verdun Passionate gardener

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        Ha ha DMM, yep several dahlias here grow very very tall and wide despite regular division of many of them. They are essentially very vigorous plants but I do have a delightful dwarf white variety.... name escapes me at the moment...and it usually makes a mound about 40 cm tall.
        Dividing dahlias tends to reduce their vigour. :)
         
      • Mike Allen

        Mike Allen Super Gardener

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        Welcome DMM. The advice etc already given is very good.

        I have to admit. My Hon. friend Verdun and I have shared so much horticultural interest and knowledge even on a far less friendlier forum. Forgive me but. I have longed tried to suss out our friend. True he lives in an ideal part of England, where most likely the most common weed will flourish.
        Forums such as this really do allow members to unwind and to perhaps tread where angels fear to tread. For instance. This topic on Dahlias. I would like to expand this.
         
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        • DMM

          DMM Apprentice Gardener

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          Thanks M'sieur Allen.
          Expand away .. :) [but I must admit to being somewhat confused].
          Have a good day everyone.
           
        • Verdun

          Verdun Passionate gardener

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          Don’t get confused DMM :)
          Gardening is a constantly learning curve but, essentially, it is simple so just enjoy:)
           
        • DMM

          DMM Apprentice Gardener

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          Thanks Verdun. I do enjoy immensely a bit of gardening, it has to be said.
          It was actually the message that I found a little confusing. Lol :) ;)
           
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