How long to cut dahlia stems

DapperDahlia(z6 Pa)June 21, 2005

How long should I cut dahlia stems when they start to bloom. What is the average?

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We're starting to cut some (A) size. The average length is 18." And, of course, we have some of those tag-along buds in order to get the length. The stems on the dahlias growing in the hoophouse are longer. I haven't measured them though.
It might help, Dapper, if you could post which dahlias you are growing.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 8:07AM
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kristenmarie(Z4-5/New Mexico)

I apologize for hijacking the thread although my question is very similar.

My first hoophouse dahlias (which I put in late April) are starting to bloom but I've never really done dahlias before and this is a bit confusing. I've got some Arabian Nights that are about to bloom. One of them, the center clump has a bud opening this morning, but the stem for that bud is only probably six inches long. To get an 18-inch stem I'll have to cut nearly down to the base, and then I've got maybe five or six very immature buds that are going to be coming along with the open flower. So isn't this a huge waste of those flowers? I can't fathom they're going to actually open-- they seem a week behind the central flower which is opening. PLUS, I can't see that it's going to look nice... should I clip off the five or six outer young buds when I cut the stalk?

(SO far, I'm not really into this dahlia thing...)


    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 9:06AM
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Yes, of course, it would be a huge waste of those other buds. Pinch out the bud that is starting to open. The Almand Joy dahlia is famous for doing just that. That huge ol' flower will sit way down in there with all these other buds hanging over its head. We usually cut them out and float them in a dish or pretty pie plate (which is still under the seat of the truck from last season).

PS Ah come on. Dahlias aren't all that bad we say as we continue to weed and hoe...............

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 10:34AM
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DapperDahlia(z6 Pa)

I'll try to tell you all the ones i can remeber off the top of my head but i recieved about 100 tubers from a freind and i have no idea what they are. I know i have Good Earth, Veritable, Brilliant Eye, Crazy Love, Frigoulet, Bert Pitt, Rip City, Christopher, and others which i cant remember. Is that any help?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 12:55PM
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I cut the first 6" or 8" stems and make tiny bouquets using 3 short stemmed dahlias, lots of ammi majus ( I like it better after the flowers have shattered ) and 3 small flowers like ageratum, annual phlox, or annual scabiosa. The bouquets are slightly rounded and look something like bridesmaid's bouquets. They're quick to make and popular with customers, particularly young women. The key is having a good supply of something lacy like the ammi.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 1:26PM
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Dapper, you have my most favorite and my least favorite on your list. We love working with Christopher. It blooms, and blooms, and blooms. The rather nice thing about this one is that it produces both small and medium flowers. I just cannot say enough nice things about this one. The Bert Pitt we always have terrible problems with Japanese Beetles on it. Don't know why they are so attracted to this one. And, the edges turn brown before we are able to use it. We have a small garden in the middle of our front yard. I was going to plant Bert Pitt there this year. Alas, I see it has been planted in the field once again. If you have better luck with it, please let us know. The other dahlia name on your list that we grow is Rip City. It's a medium, and nice to work with. I don't know the sizes of the others on your list. Do you have mostly small and medium?

You asked a question at the bottom of another thread regarding filler in dahlia bouquets. This is your first year. I would not fret about this at all. Filler is not absolutely necessary. I know a lady who sells dahlia bouquets at two markets other than the ones we sell at. She uses no fillers. I think there are about 10 dahlia stems in her bouquets. They are colorful. Customers love them. She always sells out. Next year you could possible try adding fillers. Sounds like you have your hands full with the dahlias. Remember to make them colorful. Don't be afraid to mix those colors.......

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 7:29PM
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subrosa(PNW7 Canada)

What's a good water lily type dahlia? - white, of course.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 2:21AM
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DapperDahlia(z6 Pa)

Thanks flowerfarmer that helps put my mind a little closer to at ease. My mom and i on an impulse last night planted 45 hills of gourds and a sixth row of sunflowers that will need thinned and will probably expand. I dont know what i'm doing but i'm a farmer's kid and i love to be int he dirt! thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 1:28PM
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