Dahlia support - how many stems ? Pinching?

thisbettyJanuary 30, 2006

I read the post on supports and have had best luck with the inverted cages pinned down with the severed legs. But when I READ THE POST RE: cuttings vs. tubers, I realized that the reason I always really love the potted plants bought on sale in summer is that they are probably from a cutting. They have one main stem - not too many laterals and make a beautifully shaped plant- many blooms. The next yr. they are more of the sprawlers that Ihave come to expect.

When I divide , shoule I make sure there is only one eye? Am I pinching back too often and getting more laterals than I can control. PLEASE help, I have always loved my dahlias, but I know that I am pruning them incorrectly. I am not seeking 10 or 12 inch blooms, and I have a large variety of types - and would include more decoratives if I could grow them well. Thanks for any help.

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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

The more one pinches the plant, the more laterals one will have. It makes sense, if one pinches off the leader, the plant will try to send up another leader, usually more than one.

When planting, I usually only try to have one eye. If there is a tuber with several eyes, one can split the tuber, let the wound dry a littlel, coat the cut with a fungicide, and place both pieces in new pots to make more plants.

Be sure they get lots of sun.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 4:16PM
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merrygardens(z5 MI)

I simply pull up or cut off extra shoots that come up.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 11:55AM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Hi this betty, It's hard to tell how many eyes a tuber will have, but aim for one. Rub out or cut off more than one eye that sprouts from the tuber for the healthiest plant. Or cut off extra shoots that emerge from the ground as mentioned.

I'm not sure what you mean by pruning dahlias. You can "top" them, by pinching out the center growth stalk, and you can disbranch them by several methods, but I like laterals: laterals = flowers and if you don't care about size of bloom, then the more the merrier. They definitely call for support, or your flowers will end up on the ground.
The link below might help you. And it might help me too, so I am going to read it thoroughly LOL.

There's another website I've read that addresses contolling the laterals. If I find it, I will post it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dahlia care

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 9:58PM
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Thank you. Poochella, I should have said 'pinching back' instead of pruning. Perhaps I do this too early in the season & end up with too many stems - and then I pinch those, etc...
I always stake or use the inverted tom. cages or both. Someone had a comment about the cause for huge hollow stems, - often happens for me on the larger varieties.

All help is truly appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 6:13PM
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