Help for a newbie

lila_newgardener(8)March 4, 2007

I have a beautiful short Dahlia plant in my garden that I bought 2 summers ago at home depot. I knew nothing about gardening, and didn't even know that this plant was a dahlia until about a month ago! Actually, I was shocked (and very happy) when the plant grew back the second summer all by itself without any help from me.

Anyways, after doing some reasearch online, as well as in this forum, I dug up the tubers from my garden today. What a huge mess! The first thing I noticed was that 4 or 5 of the tubers closest to the surface were mush, and squashed like grapes while I was digging them up. Does this mean the whole thing is rotted? The tubers near the bottom seemed normal (which I read somewhere is similar to how a potato would feel if you squeezed it). I just burind the whole big clump back in the dirt because I didn't know what to do. Does anyone have any advice for me? I could dig it up again and post pictures if that would help.. I really liked that plant a lot and would like to save it if I could (especially now that I know that such short dahlia plants are pretty hard to find).

Thanks!

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plantlady2(NW Washington)

That's what happens when dahlias don't get dug each year or two at the most-- a big mess that's hard to divide. Go to the post on splitting dahlia tubers posted by jroot last April to see how to divide them.
When all else fails & to get started, you can just whack the clump in half or quarters & start cutting out the rotten ones- just be sure you don't cut the eye parts off of the individual tubers.
The mush means those tubers are goners but some of the lower ones might be OK. The rot will spread if you don't get rid of it.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 7:36PM
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lila_newgardener(8)

Thanks plantlady2, I guess I will dig it back up and see what I can do.. Wish me luck haha. :)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 10:29PM
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plantlady2(NW Washington)

There's more pictures & info on cutting up on the Colorado dahlia Society site starting on the page below.
Good luck!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Colorado Dahlia Society

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 1:38AM
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