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Should I pinch out bedding dahlias?

(5 Posts)
GrimmaTheNome Tue 14-Jun-11 12:25:59

Simple question... I've never grown any sort of dahlia before, but the local nursery was almost completely out of bedding and I needed something to fill a small bed at the front of the house, and it was this or bright orange perlagoniums. They are quite sturdy compact plants, but they don't look as if they've been pinched out yet, so I'm wondering if it would be a good idea or not.

Thanks!

efeslight Tue 14-Jun-11 14:29:37

sorry grimma, haven't got any advice, but i keep reading about 'pinching out' plants, what exactly is it? is it to stop a stem getting too tall/heavy and then falling over? how do you do it? when should it be done?

GrimmaTheNome Tue 14-Jun-11 17:09:24

Its when you take out the growing tip of a plant - usually literally by nipping it out with your fingers.Then instead of growing one stem upwards it will branch out. You get bushier plants, with more flowers (though they may be a bit delayed I suppose) - leastwise on plants which respond well to being pinched out and I don't know whether dahlias do or not! Some plants fairly obviously you don't ever do this, eg bulbs, grasses which can't branch.

chixinthestix Thu 16-Jun-11 22:18:50

I'd say yes, pinch them out if they look as if they are putting all their effort into one big shoot or you will get one or two big flowers and not much side growth. If they are quite small though they might already be pretty bushy and not need it? (mine were)

GrimmaTheNome Thu 16-Jun-11 23:20:57

Oh good - glad to get an answer in the affirmative as I pinched them this morning. A couple had the start of one central flower bud which seemed not what I want for the purpose.

Thanks! smile

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