Help with drooping, curling dahlias

veryzerApril 26, 2011

I purchased some cuttings from Corralitos and placed them under a metal halide about three weeks ago. I kept them too wet the first week and so let them dry out for a week. I gave a small watering a few days ago, though the mix was still damp. In the past few days I've noticed slight curling and now drooping from a couple. I'm thinking the issue might be overwatering, though I can't understand why the plants didn't show these symptoms the first week of overwatering...maybe I've underwatered as of late, but the mix has never completely dried out. The temp is 70.

Any insights would be much appreciated.

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keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

Do you have a picture?

That would help a lot. How big is their root system? That would help guide how much water they need.


Come on SPRING!!!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 4:03PM
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Like yourself, our bodies can take 'over' abundance but then, in time, it rebels and leads to distress.
Same goes for plants. They can take only so much before they rebel. The overwatering the first week was put up with....and as long as it didn't proceed any further, not much harm was going to come to it.
But then, you continued trying to drown it...and plants, put in this situation soon stop doing what they are doing....trying to grow.
The leaves can only take so much mositure into them...then when the roots are forcing them to take up more, they stop drinking and they wilt.
Usually its seen at the bottom of the plant, the leaves there are the first sign...they are closest to the roots.

If your soil is continually in a wet state, then I suggest you unearth the plant, replace the soil, make sure there is something between the soil and the drainage holes which keeps the soil from blocking the plant's ability to drain well.
Water to drainage, then allow it to dry down between waterings. Water only as the plant can use it.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 12:24PM
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Cuttings from Corralitos are done in Oasis foam. They are an excellent product and are easy to grow if you follow their instructions and do not over water the plants. The Oasis foam holds an incredible amount of water and if over watered the roots of the plants rot where the foam wraps around them. If the roots rot, the plants die.
When you receive the cuttings in the mail, let them recover under lights or in the green house for a few days and then re-pot into a larger pot and at that time remove most of the Oasis foam. Your success rate will improve dramatically.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 12:06PM
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Thanks for the input folks. I couldn't upload a picture but the dahlias seem to have recovered for the most part after drying out, though one or two still have curled leaves.

They didn't include removing the foam in the planting instructions so I didn't. After four weeks my guess would be that trying to remove the foam now would be disastrous for the roots. Well, maybe next year.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 7:05PM
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