Disbudding Dahlias Page 2

Why Disbud?

Disbudding is not essential to grow dahlias with fine blooms. In fact, if a dahlia plant is not disbudded it will produce many more blossoms than a plant that is disbudded. Disbudding, in addition to topping, is done in order to produce larger and fuller blossoms. Disbudding directs most of the energy saved, by removing some buds, to the remaining bud causing it to grow larger in diameter and in depth. Disbudding does not affect the form or color of the blooms.


The last picture on the previous page showed three buds at the tip of a lateral.

The picture on the right shows one of the smaller buds being pinched very lightly and pulled off the stem.


The picture on the right shows the second small bud being removed.


A leaf has been removed on the plant pictured here to reveal the two small buds tucked beneath and to both sides of the central and larger bud. Attempts to disbud when the buds are at this very small stage, often lead to the accidental removal of the central larger bud. The stems of these buds are very small and brittle at this stage and only slight pressure on the central bud can cause it to break off. We find it better to wait a day or two until the small buds are a little larger making it easier to pinch and pull them off.


Disbud Carefully

Disbudding should be carefully done so as to leave a clean break level with the surface of the angle between the lateral stem and the leaf stem. For most dahlia competitions the two leaves being touched by the pointers must be kept on the stem in good condition and the spots left where the buds were removed should be as inconspicuous as possible. In competition, points are taken off for unsightly scars where buds have been removed.


Continued on next page.

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