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Last year I planted two dahlia tubers, one of which was snapped and broken and the other which was perfect. In the end, the opposite of what I expected happened - The broken tuber grew into a lovely flowering bush whilst the 'good' one never appeared at all.
I recently turned the soil before planting new bulbs and there was absolutely no trace of the tuber that never grew. I cut back the one that grew to a stalk, currently have it in an old shoe box and am looking for a new spot to plant it, but what happened to the other one? The soil was never disturbed, so nothing dug it up. Did it just rot away into nothing? Why would a perfectly good tuber just disappear like that? Both spots got the same water and light.
I tend to think it rotted. Keep a check on the one you have left to make sure it isn't rotting. Mine are in the shed, stalk down, and I check periodically that they are firm and dry.
When I dug my plants up last year, one of them had a slug eating its way through one of the tubers. I'm sure that if I hadn't dug the plant up then, the whole of it would have disappeared.
Dahlias can and do rot over winter. Prob a slug was dining well on an already rotting dahlia.
I had three in my garden and the only one that is still alive is the one that I never lifted. Quite surprised it has survived these two last winters in the ground. This year it never flowered due to the constant slug attacks.
Yes dahlias often rot in wet ground, so it's often advisable to lift them in the autumn and keep the tubers in a cool dry place over the winter, like a shed or garage.