Hats off to Hilltop gardens(Hilltop Dahlias)
I am growing the same 7 dahlia varieties I grew last year, plus several I traded for, plus 5 more varieties I got from Hilltop Gardens in NC.
I was unaware that anyone sold actual dahlia plants through mail order, as most growers sell only tubers, but when I went to order from Hilltop, I saw that 1 of the varieties I was ordering was only available as plants, and the others were available as tubers or plants. So I didnt know how well plants would do after being mailed and all, but I bought them. They gave me a big head start. They were grown in little market packs, so they were small, and almost Bonsai like, but after being taken out of the little market packs and planted, they grew to regular size in a couple weeks. One of those 2 plants they sent me was a freebie(Fitzy's dark angel).
But they were also already at their 4th and 5th leaf levels, so they were ready for their tops to be pruned. So those 2 plants I got from them on 4/18/12 are now showing buds already, and will start blooming in 2-3 weeks! My tubers are still at least 6 weeks away from bloom time.
But one of the tubers I got from Hilltop(Jomanda) didnt ever grow, so I sent them an email saying I'd wait and see, but it never came up, so they fixed the problem. They sent me a Jomanda plant this time, as well as an extra free plant as well(Eden Barbarossa). They are still small after 1 week, but they will grow to regular size soon, then take off like the others did.... They were at 4th leaf level, so were pruned immediately.
But I will definitely buy from Hilltop again....... I'd recommend them to anyone. I will also try and buy plants instead of tubers in the future!