Tubers are planted ! Pinching back ?

mandolls(4)May 31, 2012

Yesterday I got almost all of my 60 + tubers in the ground. I potted most of them up weeks ago so many are 12-18 " out of the ground, but some are a little spindly.

I pinched back most of them as they got past the 3rd leaf stage, and they forked. I have always pinched them down to one stalk per tuber (except for some of the shorter bushier types). I do this mostly to make it easier to tie them to stakes. That is generally all the pinching I do.

I am interested in hearing how other people pinch back their Dahlais. I am not interested in "show" flowers. I mostly grow them to cut and bring inside, so smaller blooms are acceptable.

Many of mine are only getting 6 hrs of sun so there is a tendency to get some 8ft plants. Do any of you just top them when they get to a certain height? How much pinching back do you do?

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keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

I pinch some of mine back all summer. I usually do every other fork so they keep blooming. Mine will get 8' tall like you if I don't and then they just topple over with a light rain. I pinch once a month, then bring the flowers in that I pinch off. You can also start the clippings in soil and make more, but I am so out of room... I even added a new bed this year! I started 3 x as many for my wedding.. hopefully all will go as plan :) If not, I have 2 back up plans :)

Try pinching back a few of them and experiment with how they look, some varieties just don't take kindly to pinching and I leave them go- usually the ones with one very large center stalk.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 7:41AM
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Thanks Kerianne,

I will do that. I reread a couple of the Dahlia sites re: topping and pinching back, but didnt find much about regular pinching - only the initial. I'll try your method on at least some of them and see how it goes.

Hope you get many gorgeous blooms for the wedding!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:42AM
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The 1st year I grew dahlias I didnt do any pinching because I didnt know you were supposed to, and the instructions that came on the box of tubers didnt say anything about it.

Every year since I have simply pinched them at the 3rd leaf level. Then I let them grow as many side laterals as they want to grow. Last year they grew anywhere between 3-6 laterals, which is the maximum they can grow in pinched to 3rd leaf level. Then I just installed upside down 42" standard tomato cages(round), after clipping off the protruding straight wires off the tops of the cages, and using them as stakes to stake down the large side of the cage to the ground.

But that wasnt enough, because I was getting about 6.5 hours of sun from May-July, but later once the sun started falling in the sky, I was down to 3-4 hours per day by late September, so my plants grew from 4.5' to almost 8 feet. They were sturdy though, and I just had to tie them to the top parts of the cages to keep them from falling over if they got too many flowers at once and got wet.

But we had 2 hurricanes blow through, and he first one in September dumped around 14 inches of rain with wind, but they didnt suffer hardly any damage. Then the 2nd hurricane came through later in the season in October, and it was much more windy(30-50mph) so some laterals broke, but only about 10%.

I didnt do any other pinching aside from the 3rd leaf level at the beginning.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 2:49PM
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