Dear Dahlia Doctor, I Think I Just Killed My Dahlia Before It Had A Chance To Live

DO NOT PULL OUT THE DEAD STALK AT THE BEGINNING OF THE GROWING SEASON. CUT IT DOWN, CLOSE TO THE GROUND, BUT DO NOT PULL IT OUT.
Or, cut the dahlia stalk close to the ground at the end of the previous growing season… but if you do that, and are like me with a very unorganized garden, you may fear forgetting where you planted your dahlia and then not being there when it first pops out of the ground and then losing it to those dastardly slugs! *shakes fist at evil slugs & snails that never go away*

LESSON LEARNED… THE HARD WAY.

Don’t pull this dead dahlia stem/stalk out. Cut it instead, as close to the ground as you can when you see new dahlias growing. By the way, this plastic around my dahlia is from an orange juice jug; I use cut up milk jugs and juice jugs to form a wall between my delicate dahlias and heinous slugs.

So… somehow there came a thought that doing this was a good idea since some new dahlias have begun to pop up here and there and doing this would make more room for them.

Oops. This one is still among the living.

Yeah… NO!

Apparently, the part that is below ground can still be alive. Well, nobody ever explained that… and there may be many others out there who may find themselves in the same situation.

As you can see, the inside is very much alive.

HELP DAHLIA DOCTOR!!

Is there a chance for my dahlia? I pulled out the dead (what I thought was dead) stem and ended up pulling out part of the living plant… oops… it had new shoots growing from it. If it gets planted, can it survive? What should I do?!
Thanks,
Unjustly Framed for Dahlia Murder

We will see if it lives… for now it remains on life support.

Dear Framed,
Dig up the entire clump of that dahlia.  Wash the tubers off with a strong stream of water from the hose then you will undoubtedly see eyes sprouting.  Cut each tuber with an eye and a piece of the main stem, then replant those tubers for more dahlias.
Or see what happens to the section that you broke off and then cut apart the tubers once the growing season is over and store the cut tubers over winter and replant them next year.
Attend one of our meetings for instructions on how to cut tubers. Dahlia experts are always on hand for some one-on-one chats.
- The Dahlia Doctor