New to Dahlias. I have some questions.

greengardener07March 28, 2008

Hi All, I purchased a Fire & Ice Dahlia yesterday. Bare root and in a bag with peat moss. It has some growth already. I can't wait for it to bloom!

I was wondering when I can plant it and if I can't plant it now, should I keep it in the bag?

Will it bloom this year?

Since I live in SE Pennsylvania, will they over winter outside?

Thanks for any help that anyone can provide!

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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

Here's what you have to ask yourself.

1. Do you get frost?
- If you do, then you should lift tubers and not plant until all chances of frost are gone.

2. I would say that there is never a good reason to keep a plant in a bag if its planted. Perhaps I misunderstood the question.

3. Over-wintering in the ground is totally relative to frost. I have people "in-town" 10 miles away whose Dahlias survive most winters, but I can't here on the lakeside. I'd suggest you consider the cost of replacing versus the effort to over-winter inside. If you can afford to replace, then leave them in the ground.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 7:13PM
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I planted it up last night, but do I sink the tubers or leave the resting on the soil like an iris would be?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 1:07PM
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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

Tubers should be planted laying on their side ~4-6" below the surface. I would cover it up so the crown end (the end that isn't pointy) has ~1" of soil above it. This will leave a depression so you can monitor the sprout, once its up. As the sprout grows, gradually fill in the depression until its slightly higher than the rest of the soil (but never completely cover up the sprout.)

Check the crown end and see if you can see a sprout, or what is called an "eye", which is a sprout forming. If you can, then make sure that is on the up-side of the laying tuber. If you can't see an eye or sprout, no worried, just lay it whatever way you want (but sideways.)

See, Dahlias are surface root plants, their roots are typically near the surface of the soil, that's why you plant them laying on their side.

If you don't want the work of monitoring the sprout in a depression, just fill the hole in. Before you do, put a stake in the ground to tie the plant up to such that the stake is near the crown end.

Make sure the stake is tall enough, and sturdy enough, to handle whatever your plant size is.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 2:20PM
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Well, thanks for all your help everyone!

I planted up at the beginning of April and put it on the sun porch. It has doubled in size since then. Awesome!

When would it be safe to put out? Mid May is our last frost date.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 1:36PM
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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

Frost will kill them. You can harden them off in pots outside before all chance of frost is gone, but make sure they do not get exposed to any frost. Plant in the ground when all chance of frost is gone.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 11:07AM
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Russ says froat will kill them. I grew collarette and pompom from seed. They came back up two years in a row. Then we had a year with a horrible cold and wet week which did kill them, but some known hardy plants were done in too. I am in zone seven and they were planted on the south side of the house. I guess they are half hardy?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 4:15AM
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