Growing your own wedding flowers

AngevineJanuary 27, 2014

I'm getting married this summer, August 16th, and would like to grow some of the flowers for my wedding. The problem is that I'm currently working in France and won't be back stateside until the end of May. Is late May too late to plant dahlia tubers? If not, any tips about planting and care or varieties? My location is a very sunny south facing bed in front of the house, and my area tends to have summers that are quite hot and humid. Missouri's suffered from droughts for the past few years.
I'm interested in ordering from Swan Island, and perhaps Wooden Shoe Bulb Farm as well, but am interested in suggestions about good sources.
The varieties I'm currently considering are:
Otto's Thrill (anything smaller and more floriferous with a similar form and color?)
Caf� Au Lait and/or Sheer Heaven
Fleur, Silver City or White Perfection
Touché or Lindy (or another apricot/peach/orangey pink B sized dahlia)
If you've grown any of these, what was your experience with them? Any suggestions of better performing varieties?
Do antique dahlia cultivars tend to be more or less disease resistant and heat tolerant than the modern varieties?
Also, how many tubers do you recommend ordering of a given cultivar if I'd like to have a good shot at having 8-12 flowers on hand for the wedding?

This post was edited by Angevine on Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 15:49

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A lot of these questions were answered in this recent post... See bottom link.

In very hot and humid locales, dahlias tend to slow down blooming until it gets cooler.

I would be concerned that, if you are starting with an unsprouted tuber end of May, and might have a very hot spell that slows down the plant as well, you would not hit your special date.

With that said, TRY ANYWAY! You'll have a blast, as long as you have a backup plan and the stress is off!

I would suggest calling Swan Island and talking to them about your concerns and desires. They know their varieties inside and out, as dahlias is ALL they grow, and will give great suggestions about which ones to choose, as well as how to grow them in a booklet they send out with your order.

They also ship blooms all over the US, incidentally.

Hope this helps, and have fun in your wedding planning!


Here is a link that might be useful: Wedding flowers

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 11:29PM
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Growing dahlias for the first time and for a wedding are both daunting tasks. Order one of the Swan Island collections, specifically the ultimate cut flower collection and you will probably have some flowers for the wedding. We could propose hundreds of varieties in different colors and shapes but this collection is an excellent choice for a beginner.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 1:51PM
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Thanks for taking the time to answer, and for the advice!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 2:46PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

I have not had good results from Touché. For me they rarely came out fully double so after trying it for several seasons I have now trashed it. My climate is also hot and dry in summer which tends to make dahlias open up in the center. Some varieties are more susceptible to this problem than others. You may want to consider varieties that are listed as being more heat tolerant. Check out the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Heat Tolerant Dahlias

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 5:32PM
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