Will they have time to bloom?

wittyraven(4)June 5, 2013

Im in kenai peninsula in Alaska. I was under the impression that dahlias did not live through the winter outside here, and was shocked to find some growing into the back of my vegetable garden at my new property. I had to dig them up of course because they were already trying to grow into my growing cabbage and broccoli plants. I dug up the bulbs as well as I could and replanted them all in a large pot. They wilted for a couple days and perked back up today. Will they have enough time to bloom still this year? The plants are pretty small but we have very long days(19 hours right now). This is my first year gardening in AK.

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Noni Morrison

Congratulations on your find! I don't know enough about growing in Alaska to answer your question but I would be very interested in hearing how it goes for you! Global weather change seems to have given you a gift!

I am just now getting my dahlias in the ground near Seattle and expect blooms to be showing by late July on most of them, if that helps any.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 9:56AM
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wittyraven(4)

I used to live in puyallup WA. My dahlias there grew huge! But I just had them in the ground, never dug them up and they started when they felt(I never paid much attention). Temperatures here are not much colder than there this time of year(even though we went down to -20 this winter!!) so if you get blooms in July I should too! :) thanks for the reply!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:11AM
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steve22802(7a VA)

Did you have a thick layer of dry snow pack all winter? They must have been well insulated. You can overwinter dahlias in the ground anywhere in the world as long as you can keep the tubers from going below freezing and from sitting in continually soggy soil. If I were you I would have left them right where they were in the ground and sacrificed the broccoli and cabbage instead. ;)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:17PM
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wittyraven(4)

I would have, but we are actually removing what I think was insulating them. There is a wood platform that extra siding for the house was stored and and they were popping out from under there. But we are removing the platform soon because it's an eye sore. I dug up about 10 bulbs and I went back out there this morning and found more plants popping up. There are probably another 10-20 more bulbs under there! Crazy! My father in law is the one who told me that it's not possible to keep them alive in the ground here, but we did have a pretty hard snow pack this year.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:17PM
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mandolls(4)

Hmmmm - over wintering in the ground in zone 4 is really unexpected. I sure wouldnt count on it happening again.

There is certainly time for them to bloom for you this year. From what I have heard, those exceedingly long daylight hours make up for such a short growing season in Alaska.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 3:21PM
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