Dahlia Leaves Are Curling After Potting

Question From: A. Alexander - Asheville, North Carolina, United States
Q: Can I water extra to get too much fertilizer out of my indoor Dahlia plants? I saw a previous question you answered about Dahlia leaves curling up. You suggested that maybe he had put too much fertilizer on them. Mine are curling up too and I might have over fertilized too. But the thought of re-potting makes me crazy. I have about 35 of them. I have also read that it could be spider mites. Can I set them outside and treat them with a specticide? It gets about 45 degrees at night here in NC right now.

A: If you have spider mites that bad you should be able to see the tiny webs. Dahlias are warm weather lovers and are planted the soil temperatures reach 60, so putting them now is risky. A 10 power magnifying glass might help. If you sprayed the fertilizer on the plants resulting in leaf burn, drenching won't help. Frequent watering to remove soil based fertilizer is risky as tubers do not like wet feet. If you think you have fertilizer burn allow the soil to almost dry - the leaves should not wilt. Then run water through the pots to wash out the salts. This is a one time effort. Good Luck, Nancy