For the past fives weeks I've been raising 6 flats worth of dahlias,
half from seed, half from last year's roots which I've saved and the
rest new ones I bought this year. I've been taking them out onto my deck
in the morning and bringing them in every night. Sad to report, a major
family crisis flared up yesterday right before dinnertime and the
dahlias got forgotten outside. Naturally, we had our first frost in weeks.
Now three quarters of the dahlias of both types have limp leaves.
My question is this: is there any hope for the frosted plants or do they
go into the compost? And what about the ones that don't seem to show
obvious damage. Are they goners too?
I'm way more bummed out than I like to be. I've put SO much energy into
these plants and they were huge and gorgeous until this morning.
Clip off wilted leaves, deadhead sagging blooms, water and keep your
fingers crossed. The exact thing happened to me last week. I brought
them into the garage next to a window and they're doing just fine. Good
Your foliage just got frosted but the roots and tubers didn't freeze..
Around here, a lot of perennials got hit too like the hosta but they will
come back. Just be sure not to root rot them now. Betcha they come back just
fine. If you had had a hard freeze maybe not.
Zone 6 western NC
Jenny, don't despair
cut 'em back and continue the TLC.
Last year we used Dahlias in ornamental gardens at the foot of Mt Washington
NH, and despite waiting until June 15 to set them, they still suffered a few
frost perils. All we did was cut back the damaged leaves and stems.
Truly, unless the roots are frozen, at this time of year it is simply a
set-back, not the killzone.
The plants that don't look damaged aren't damaged.
Don't start the compost pile yet!
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