Dahlias look wilted in the sun ?

mandolls(4)May 28, 2010

I noticed this last year from a few of my Dahlias, but this year the leaves all look "wilted" during the heat of the day. They are planted in good sandy soil, topped with a few inches of composted cow manure, and the soil is plenty damp underneath. As soon as the sun passes they spring back to a livelier appearance.

Is this common? Its not even June yet, so the real heat of summer is yet to come. I started them in pots inside this year, but they have been outside for over two weeks now, so I don't think it is about adjusting to the outdoor conditions.

Should I be concerned?

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corgicorner(Mass 6/7)

I don't think you should be concerned, but you might want to cover each of them with a large plastic pot--upside down of course, during the day when the sun is beating down on the plants. Take the pots off when the sun no longer is shining on the plants, and be sure to keep them damp. Night dampness is excellent. If it is raining, be sure the plants are uncovered--the rain will do them wonders. Keep this up for about 7 days, but keep your eyes on the plants, and if they wilt again, keep up the procedure for another week or so. Persevere, you will win in the long run. Happy Gardening. I wish you success.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:26PM
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keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

This is my two cents on thisÂ.

I live in 5B and I transplanted them about two weeks ago as well.

Every year they wilt for 1-3 weeks depending on the weather. I think this is the most critical time for them. I keep the soil moist the first 3-7 days after transplanting and then I ONLY water once a week (if no rain) or when the top 4" of soil is dry. I want the dahliaÂs roots to go deeper and look for water. I have found if I water every night or every 2 nights the roots stay very shallow and need water all summer (not fun!). Wilting is a natural thing plants do to conserve moisture or in-fact slow water intake. Many people water when they see their plants wilting in moist soil and that can lead to bigger problems like blight and rotting tubers/plants. If your plants pop back up at night they are doing fine, they are just conserving their energy/water and sending feeder roots out.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 9:34AM
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Right - I wouldn't worry about them at all. On those first warm sunny days - everything in my borders wilt including the perennials. It's normal and by nightfall they perk back up. As long as you have had them out and hardened them off reasonably before planting, I think they are fine.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 1:44PM
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Thanks for the input. Since I have some tubers in the same bed I want to refrain from watering as much as possible until those show.I have been getting similar mid-day wilting on a few of my perennials. Our weather has been crazy warm for this part of the country. This is the weekend that many people around here traditionally put out annuals, but we have already had many days in the 80's and 90's. I am expecting a bumper crop this year.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 8:08PM
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