Dahlias

Storing Tubers Storing tubers is mandatory, as the plant will die if left in the ground over winter. When the first frosts have blackened the foliage cut off the stems about six inches above the ground. Gently fork out the tubers and discard surplus soil and broken roots.

Select tubers for storage that are at least as thick as a pencil and have an eye, or growing point. Tubers that are slightly larger than the width of a pencil will actually form roots quicker next spring than the larger tubers. Stand tubers upside down for a week to drain off excess moisture. Then place them on a layer of peat in deep boxes and cover the roots with more peat. Store in a cool but frost-free place. Check the tubers every month and remove any that show signs of rot. If you find any tubers that are rotting, immediately discard so that other tubers do not become infected.

Stopping: To increase bushiness it is necessary to pinch out the tips of the main stems about three weeks after planting.

Side-Shooting: Long-stemmed plants are needed for indoor decoration and exhibiting. Snap away unwanted laterals from the main stem about two weeks after stopping.

Stopping Side-Shooting Disbudding

Disbudding: For larger (but fewer) flowers it is necessary to remove the sidebuds, leaving only the terminal flower bud.

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