Thin main stems: Will they get thicker after a while?

HighlanderNorthJune 12, 2012

I had many, many more tubers this year than I figured I'd have after wintering them over. So I traded some, gave some away, sold some to customers, and even now I still have extra plants that I dont have room for, and they are growing in pots like all the rest, so I'll have to get rid of them.

Anyway, as these and other tubers I bought or traded for started coming up, inevitably I noticed that some main stems on some tubers were significantly thinner and slower growing than others, while some would be very thick and faster growing. Even with only 1 main stem from each tuber.

The obvious and first desire for anyone would be to plant, trade or sell the thicker ones, and get rid of the thinner ones, but I have not gotten rid of too many thin ones. I still have extras that are thin, medium and thick. They have been in pots growing for 1.5 months now at least.

So does it really matter if some main stems are thicker for the first few weeks or month or more, or will they eventually thicken up, grow faster, and become healthy plants, or are the thinner ones destined to be inferior, and should be tossed?

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My experience from last year is - yes the stems will get somewhat thicker. Pinching them back early helps. Obviously some types of Dahlias simply have much thicker stems, and it shows up right at the start, but even the thin spindly ones should thicken up and get sturdier.

This year on some of my really spindly ones, I have pinched them after the second true leaves, and then after the first laterals began growing I pinched those at the third set of leaves. Hoping to slow down the vertical growth and get bushier, sturdier plants. We will see how well that works.

I wish some of the really experience Dahlia growers were on this forum more, but many seem to have dropped off.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 6:47AM
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Yeah, it doesnt seem that too many people frequent this forum(dahlias). I have started threads that took a week or more to get just 1 response. I am a member of other forums where you can start a thread, and be almost guaranteed to get a response within minutes. Its common to get 10-15 responses per day, or more. But not here. I've seen simple thread questions go unanswered completely.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 8:41PM
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