Dahlia Wilt on One of Two Primary Stems

meghaskellApril 7, 2008

I planted a dinner plate dahlia tuber last year, but late in the season and it never bloomed. Since I live in such a warm area, the foliage never really died back so I cut it back in December. The foliage almost immediately started growing back and the plant had been doing rather well until this past weekend, when I noticed that half of it is wilting. The lower inside leaves appear the worst, some of which are yellow and falling off. The top leaves are still green, but very wilty. I thought maybe the plant needed a bit of extra water, so I watered it last night but it didn't bounce back the way that I thought it would. Any ideas or suggestions as to what this might be and how I might fix it?

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Poochella(7 WA)

Could be stem rot which I had in a plant one year. The advice I got was to destroy the plant, which I did eventually. It never rebounded, and for good reason- the stem was basically rotting from the inside out.

The symptoms you describe are very similar to this, though I don't recall yellow leaves. Look for discoloration or weakness in the main stem wall. If it's other than that, someone else will chime in.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 11:23PM
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"destroy the plant" - Does that include the tuber?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 1:21PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

It did mean destroying the tuber too, for me, because it was well on its way to rotting when I pulled it up. I think it was jroot who had this happen once and he relayed it affected the whole plant going right down to the tuber. Better safe than sorry.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 3:57PM
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Thanks poochella. Btw, Your garden is gorgeous.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 3:54PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

You're welcome, but sorry for the loss of your dahlia.

My planted areas look like a mess to me: never will be lovely formal gardens, more like basic cultivated planting areas. But that's how it goes when you live on rock-filled clay soil.

Here's the new dahlia bed coming along. It's hard to envision grass surrounding rows of lovely flowers, but that's my hope, once the soil dries out,the mud goes away and all that soil gets put in place.

New veggie mix soil hauled in by machine! Saved me hours of hard labor loading and unloading it myself.

I can't say how many kitty litter buckets I've loaded and hauled with rocks sifted from this bed, but I'd wager it's easily in the 200 range and more to go...

Close up of the "soil" but I must say this was one of the worst areas: couldn't even shovel here without bouncing off rocks. I'm very appreciative of the fine wonderful stuff that emerges when the rocks get taken out.

I will never, ever do this again. I have enough planting room now if not for dahlias for veggies which have taken a back seat to flowers.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 10:35PM
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