Newbie question regarding bloom time

tmac96(Z5, OH)June 17, 2009

I have no experience with dahlias other than the potted ones I bought last week. I've instantly fallen in love with them though and can't wait to try new ones next year! The ones I have are already in bloom, although I've read that most dahlias hit their "bloom stride" in August and September. Does this mean that I should expect no blooms until then, or does it just mean that I'll get a few, sporadic blooms in July and then tons in Aug/Sept?

Also, I live in zone 5 and we can have a frost as early as the first week in Oct. Does that mean that if I get a late blooming variety that I might not even get a bloom? Should I only consider early bloomers? Also, I do plan on starting them indoors -- will that give them a jump start on bloom time so that I don't have to look at early bloomers only?

Sorry for the all the questions -- I just want to make sure that all my efforts will result in blooms that I actually get to see for a few weeks before Jack Frost pays me a visit! Secondly, our first baby will be born late Aug/early Sept and I thought it would be nice to plant flowers that would be in bloom for her on her birthday each year. I'd be so sad to choose some that would bloom too late.

Oh, and does anyone grow Spartacus? I am interested in trying it, but can't find any info about its bloom time -- early, mid, late? Is it a reasonable assumption that it is a later bloomer since its flowers are so big, maybe it needs more time to develop them? Or is that totally misguided? TIA!

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Poochella(7 WA)

Your enthusiasm is showing tmac! Congratulations on your pending little girl. You must grow Miss Rose Fletcher- a perfect delicate pink that would be wonderful for any girl, young or old. If I don't kill all the tubers, I'll gladly send you one next spring.

Or how about Nanna's Kiss in honor of Grandma? Easy to grow, lots of flowers and fairly early, as I recall.

Starting early in pots or flats is a great idea. I can't find any comprehensive guide to bloom time naming certain varieties and think it would be difficult to name such a time given garden conditions vary so widely, as does weather. But GENERALLY, the larger varieties such as Spartacus take longer to develop and bloom. I've also had large blooms show up in late July, so it varies considerably.

Some dahlias are earlier, most take 70-80 days, from planting to first blooms out here. It is true that dahlias, hit their stride in August-September. If one gets a lucky extended summer, then you'll have flowers into October though the colors are different with fading hours of sun and the blooms slow done considerably. Still pretty though.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 11:29AM
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Dahlia is one of my favorite flower, I use to see this flower in my grandma's garden. I have searched it from Google and the link is attached for your reference.

Here is a link that might be useful: different kinds of dahlia

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 8:12AM
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If you keep dead-heading the ones you bought that were in bloom, they will bloom all summer right up until frost. Once a plant starts blooming just keep picking the blooms & getting rid of any that fade on the plant & you'll have blooms all summer & fall.
Bloom times have more to do with the weather, when they were planted & soil conditions than whether the dahlia is "early" or "late". Also- all of the same cultivar won't all bloom at the same time- eg.- last year we had some Wyn's Farmer John in bloom in mid July, some started blooming by the end of July & some at about the second week of August- all planted at the same time in the same gardens.
"The dahlia does what it wants to do & laughs at the silly people like us who think they can tell exactly how long it's going to take to open it's blooms".
This is a quote I found in a book on dahlias from the 1880's - I love it :)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 2:48AM
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tmac96(Z5, OH)

Poochella: Great suggestions! I love those! **drooooool** I appreciate the general info on bloom time too -- very helpful!

Plantlady: Thanks for the info! That makes things easier for me to decide. I don't think I'm going to get too hung up on the early/late bloomer thing. It was just too confusing anyway -- one vendor would list a variety as an early bloomer, then another vendor would describe the exact same variety as a late bloomer! I guess it's just like you said, they all have a mind of their own. BTW, love that quote you found! Too funny!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 2:38PM
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Poochella: I hardly see Miss Rose Fletcher for sale. Where can I find one? It is very nice.
Plantlady: I really like that quote. It reminded me of the first time I planted Big Wow. I kept torturing it with... Yeah, you are called big wow, and we will say "wow" you flowered at last for it didn't bloom the first year. The year after that, it bloomed for me in May. This year, it is now blooming. Also, I am very much surprised with Kelvin Floodlight, it is huge but blooms early as it has been blooming since last week.
I wish I can post a picture for I had forgotten how to post pictures here since I posted the Dahlia Akita in the gallery.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 6:02AM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Forsythia, Miss Rose Fletcher is available from several dahlia vendors on the Colorado Dahlia Society "Big List." Or you could check with a local Dahlia Society sale in your area next year to see if someone offers it there.

From the Big List:
MISS ROSE FLETCHER BettyÂs Amazing Dahlias

MISS ROSE FLETCHER Endless Summer Flowers


MISS ROSE FLETCHER Homestead Dahlias



MISS ROSE FLETCHER Swan Island Dahlias


Here is a link that might be useful: Big List

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 11:07AM
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Thank you, Poochella, I guess, I am too late to order this year. Well, I just have to be earlier next time.
Thank you also for the big list.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 2:38AM
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