My First Dahlia...

monjolijardin(z10 CA)April 10, 2007


A couple of weeks ago, I order one Dahlia buld (Kharma Dahlia Prospero) from an online store. Yesterday, I received it.

I am totally new when dealing with Dahlias. I was expecting to get one tuber but what I got looks more like a clump of tubers (see picture below).

Am I supossed to separate the clump or simply plant it as is (on its side in a pot)?

Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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Looking at how that clump is built I would not divide it, it has 6 roots ( tubers ), from those 6 roots only 2 look in good condition and a third one looks so-so, the remaining three are in quiestionable condition, the crown is very thick ... I can see two eyes ( one on each side ), if it were me I would plant it as it is.

If you want to divide cut longitudinaly in half between ( look at your pic ) the third and fourth tuber, you can get two plants ( ? ) and wait 10-15 days to allow the tuber to heal and plant.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 9:17PM
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I agree with Raul on the division. I use only a 24-48 hour air dry healing time. If you leave it out too long in the air it will start shriveling. As long as the cut surface has healed and is dry it is ok to plant.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 10:18PM
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monjolijardin(z10 CA)

Thank you for all your answers.

Until reading your answers, I did not realize that the tubers found underneath the main bulb were roots. I thought they were new bubbs that could be cut off. But since they are roots, I decided that I would simply plant my bulb as is.

I understand that, when planted in a pot, a Dahlia tuber should be planted at a depth of 6". Is this correct? Should the eyes be at a depth of 6" or the bottom of the roots? How deep of a pot should I be using?

Sorry for all the questions.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 12:27PM
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Get a pot at least 3 times as deep and twice as wide as the clump is tall, then plant twice as deep as the clump is tall placing the clump flat on it´s side with the eyes ( buds ) as centered in the pot as possible, place a 4-6 ft long stake ( the longer the better ) adjacent to the crown, then cover with soil up to about 1 1/2 - 2 inches from the edge of the pot.

They need that much space to allow the tubers to expand once rehydrated and in order to grow more roots, not all roots become tubers.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 2:22PM
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Again, Karma dahlias are different. The crown on your tuber needs to be about 6" below the soil line in your pot. They don't need a 6' stake. A little support such as a tomato cage turned upside down and anchored works fine. Or, you can use something similar called a plant trellaire. The foliage will grow up and disguise the cage in no time. These dahlias only grow 3-4' tall. Another nice feature about the Karma dahlias is that you can grow them in a nice looking container surrounded with other plants because these dahlias don't get bushy like other dahlias. Use 2/3 garden soil mixed with 1/3 potting soil.

Karma dahlias aren't really in the business of producing alot of tubers. Their mission is growing nice long stems for cutting -- usually 12-15 stems.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 4:18PM
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P.S. You can clean up that tuber little by trimming off some of those thin, shrivelled and broken roots which will make it easier to plant in your container. It won't hurt a thing. You already have eyes developing up there in the bulbous area below the old stem.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 4:28PM
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monjolijardin(z10 CA)

Once again, thank you for all your help and suggestions.

I will plant my bulb in a container that is 10" wide and 14" deep. As a result the roots should have about 5" of soil under them once the bulb is planted 6" below the soild line. Is the container size appropriate?

Even though Karma Dahlias are different than regular Dahlias, do they require the same care as regular Dahlias after planting (ie do they need pinching, etc.)?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 11:23AM
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Your container size is fine. When you plant your tuber, you can add just a couple inches of soil over the top; and, as it sprouts keep adding soil until you have that 6" covering it.

We let our Karma dahlia plants grow 4-6" before we pinch them. You'll see one set of leaves growing up, and two lateral sets of leaves. Pinch just below that second set of laterals. This will force the plant to grow and produce nice long lateral stems.

We use an 18-5-10 fertilizer.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 3:47PM
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monjolijardin(z10 CA)

Thanks for all your help (I will keep you in mind for the next time I want to purchase Dahlias). Following your suggestions, I planted my Karma Dalhia late yesterday afternoon.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 3:35PM
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monjolijardin(z10 CA)

It has been three months since I planted my Karma Dahlia about 6" below the current soil line (see picture below). At planting time, the tuber was only covered by an inch of soil. As the plant grew, I added soil to finally reach the current soil line.

It seems to me that the plant has stopped growing for the last three to four weeks even though I have been fertilizing it every two weeks.

Any idea to what I should do to "restart" the growing process. Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 12:21PM
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I was given several dahlia tubers today. Here in NY they are already blooming. I don't think I should plant them because they need to be lifted in the fall. I don't know what to do with them or how to store them Will they survive till next spring?
Also, I got some canna, same story.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 9:07PM
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