Dahlias in time for June 28 wedding

marylennoxMarch 31, 2008

What are my chances of having dahlias blooming in time for my daughter's June 28 wedding in zone 4? I want to have the beds full of the apricot peach and raspberry colors of her wedding, mostly for the gift-opening but also possibly for extras for her reception. Thanks!

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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

Unfortunately I didn't keep a daily record last year, but by June 19th, here in Zone 5A, I had Mary Jo, China Doll, and Park Princess in bloom. I did, however, start them indoors on March 5th. So that was more than 3 months until bloom time.

So, if you got them right away, got them started indoors, and kept them inside in pots until you were absolutely sure there'd be no outside frost, you could probably make it with some early blooming varieties.

Of those I considered (which I have the data for on-hand), here are a few named choices that are stated as being early bloomers:

China Doll (Cream and Rose)
Firepot (Orange & Yellow)
Neon Splendor (Flame Orange)
Smarty Pants (Red)
Mary Jo (Salmon)
Touche' (Salmon)
Tahiti Sunrise (Yellow & Rose Red)

I'm sure there are lots of others that bloom early.

By the way, if you start them in 10" plastic pots, you could leave them in there until after the wedding yet still "plant" them outside in garden beds. Just dig a hole about half as deep as the pot and sit the pot in the hole. This would be a variation on pot tubers, but it would avoid the possibility that the stems break from the tubers while trying to transplant them. They should all grow perfectly fine in the pots through to the end of the season.

Cheers,
Russ

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 5:15PM
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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

I just double-checked. I didn't pay the duty on the tubers until March 16th last year, and I now remember putting them in the fridge for a week if not two before they were finally potted up to start inside. So they were basically started around now and were in bloom on June 19th.

Cheers,
Russ

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 5:18PM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

I am in zone 4 - last years tubers were started inside mid-April - blooms not earlier than mid-July.

Anna

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 9:22AM
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