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Does shriveled mean dead?

Posted by zootjs zone 5 MA (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 30, 08 at 9:17


Are shriveled dahlia bulbs a waste of time, or is there hope? Someone gave me a "gift" of some. They don't look much like the nice, plump photos I'm seeing here. (I think they were out of the ground, outside, for a few days, over a few frosts.) The worst are really shriveled up, and I have no hope for them. Some are a bit puffy. One looks a bit like a nearly respectable bulb.

I don't have any dahlias yet, so even saving one would give me entree into this world. There are a total of ten or so, in various states of shriveleness.

I'm in central MA, zone 5.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Does shriveled mean dead?

Oh oh, shrivelry is not dead! I'd trust your gut instinct on the really shrivelled ones and dump them. Rubbery, flexible ones are likely goners too, but make good cat toys for a few days. I'd try to save the respectable one for certain.

Don't know what you mean by puffy. Mostly hydrated? Slightly dry/shrivelled? You can't lose anything but a bit of time and space by trying to save any that aren't hopeless mummies or really rubbery. If the puffy ones send up shoots next spring, you can make cuttings or see if the tuber has enough 'oomph' to support the plant til it gets started.

Read about cuttings at below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dahlia Cuttings

RE: Does shriveled mean dead?

Thanks, that's encouraging.

> shrivelry is not dead!

Very nice, very nice....

> Rubbery, flexible ones are likely goners too

Hmm, mine might be considered rubbery and flexible.

I'll give it a try, and put the likely candidates in the ground. And, as you suggest, I just won't bed my bottom dahlia....


RE: Does shriveled mean dead?

'bottom dahlia'... thanks for the giggle! Some people, myself included, have tried misting or soaking rubbery shrivellers with some degree of success. But I find once the moisture has left the body of the tuber, it's really hard to firm them up again. Can't hurt to try.

RE: Does shriveled mean dead?

I am trying to save some gifted shriveled up tubers too... so far I am a little optomistic.

This is what I did.

I soaked them in a clean kitchen sink for around 20 minutes with 1/2 a cup of bleach. This is to try and kill any mold or pathogens on them. Then I rinsed them, and let them sit for several hours in the sink again filled with water and No Damp. I then packed them up in a box with small animal kiln dried wood shavings and cinamon and put them in the fridge.

So far they are doing great, no mold, no fungus, no rot, some have plumped up and regained firmness, none are looking worse then when I got them, and it has been about 6 weeks now...

I am going to pot them up early, probably late January early feb in a very sunny south facing window and see how it goes...

RE: Does shriveled mean dead?

You certainly get an A for effort, Homemommy. It can't hurt to try anything and I'll be interested to see how the soaking and cinnamon works. I used cinnamon on a couple cut-off large tubers one year: worked fine.

You're the second person recently to mention No Damp. Tell us about it, when you have time.

RE: Does shriveled mean dead?

Well, I am getting ready to plant my shriveled up daliah tubers over the next few days. I just got them out of the fridge, and they look about the same as they did 6 weeks ago, slightly encouraged by that, but still not going to cheer until I see sprouts!

No Damp is a brand of anti fungal solution that is concentrated, mixed with water, primarily used to treat "damp off" in young seedlings, where as many seed propagators know only too well, a fungus can leave your fantastic looking young shoots looking fab one day, and the next day you wake up, they are all or almost all dead! ACK! It is caused by a fungus that attacks the roots and base of the stem.

I just use it in a bowl that I soak my roots in to try and help kill off any fungus's / offer some longer term protection.

I have 2 daliahs in my window that have done great all winter, except they developed white powder mildew in the fall before I brought them in. I could not find anything to treat it over the last few weeks and it was getting really bad, so... I dug them up, cut off all the foliage, soaked the tubers in bleach and no damp, boiled all the dirt, added no damp to the soil, and repotted them. They looked dead the first few days, but are now doing fab! So, it looks worst case senerio like I will be starting the season with at least 2 plants! A far cry from some of the other members fields, but at least it is something!

On another note, my canna roots are doing fab!

RE: Does shriveled mean dead?

homemommy- the next time you get powdery mildew just give the plant a good spraying with skim milk-- works like a charm!...and it's cheap!

RE: Does shriveled mean dead?

Thanks for the tip! I spent weeks looking for something to treat it, should have known that someone here would have had a tip for something that came out of the kitchen!! ;-P

RE: Does shriveled mean dead?

  • Posted by jroot 5A Ont. Canada (near (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 22, 09 at 18:04

Skim milk. I hadn't heard that. Thanks, plantlady2008 - hopefully 2009.

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