Plant Dahlias in containers now?

aliceinvirginiaAugust 19, 2008

I was at a nursery, and found they had 3.99 tubers marked down to $.99.

I figured what the h*ll and thought I'd buy them and see how they do.

I'm a balcony container gardener, so I figured I can just bring them indoors if I need to.

I opened up the packages and looked inside the plastic. One looks like it has three shoots and some roots, and the other has a lot of roots.

This is all mixed up with peat.

I have a lot of 4 and 5 gallon buckets. I plan on making self-watering containers out of them. On the container forum there is Al's recommended soil mix. I thought I would use that. It's supposed to be well-draining.

Are self-watering containers OK for Dahlias?

Since there are roots and sprouts, how do I tell which side is up? Is there an up?

Can they continue into the fall/winter if they are by a large, sunny window?

I figured nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I'm in northern Virginia and think I might be zone 7

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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

Usually you want your tubers to stay reasonably dry so they'll promote root growth and avoid tuber rot. Self watering can be fine, but keep the water to a minimum until buds start to appear.

As far as which way is up, there should be some crown material left where the sprouts are. Crown material is where last year's stalk was cut off the tuber. The sprouts go up, and should be considerably thicker than roots. The tuber should be planted on its side.

As far as bringing them in goes, you're likely going to need to augment the sunlight to get blooms. A grow light would definitely help. Otherwise, you're likely to have a lot of foliage and few blooms.

Good luck!

Cheers,
Russ

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 9:31AM
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vikingcraftsman

I will back up what Russ said. I grew my dahlias under lights since January till May. I had blooms in May. So yes Alice you can grow dahlias in doors. Make sure you use new lights.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 8:40PM
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