Stunted Dahlias?

sturgeonguy(5a ON)August 26, 2008

One of the people who purchased Dahlia cuttings from me this year just called. They bought Bodacious and Cabana Banana. The Bodacious (she thinks) is ~22" tall, while the Cabana Banana is a pitiful 10".

Cuttings for these were taken in early April, and should have left me at least 10" tall.

I'm told they are getting lots of sun, and as much water as I'm getting. My Bodacious and Cabana Banana are both >4' tall and blooming well.

There are no bugs other than earwigs (which I thought only really bothered flowers) and there haven't been any rabbits or other toppers.

Can anyone suggest why they'd be so short compared to my own? We are blocks apart, so conditions should be pretty much the same. I've asked her to do a soil test, although I admit I don't know what the soil test numbers *should* be to be good. I just figured the test might reveal some problem.

She hasn't fertilized, so I have recommended a couple of Jobe's sticks for each.

Any thoughts?



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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

My thoughts exactly.

1) There has to be a difference in the soil where they are planted. At my house, the soil is different at the back from the front of the house.

2) Also, how loose is her soil? I find they grow better where the soil is loose and humousy. Even in my dahlia bed, at the end of the bed closest to the grass, the plants don't grow as tall.

3) Does she had good drainage?

The tubers should be okay this fall for her. However, suggest that she really work that bed up, fairly deeply. I would suggest at least 12 inches (30 cm), and dig in some leaves and compost as well at the same time.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 2:30PM
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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

FWIW, she has a rose bush beside one of the two (~3-4' away) which is doing great and has put on 1.5' this year already. I did check, it is not blocking sun.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 2:48PM
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