When do you expect your first fully open blooms?

HighlanderNorthJune 10, 2012

I tried to start my Dahlias much earlier than last year, as last year I started the first few on May 25, and the last few on June 11. They were dormant tubers then.

This year, I tried starting some in late April, and even mid april, but I discovered that they grow MUCH slower when its cool outside. But most tubers were planted in mid-late April to early May. I also planted 2 dahlia plants acquired from Hilltop dahlias on April 18. Plus 2 more plants from them about 8 days ago. The tubers planted in the ground in mid April took quite a while to come up. Most were pinched at 3rd leaf levels just 8-14 days ago! So it took between 30-37 days for them to grow to the 3rd leaf level from planting time to pruning time. Last year that only took about 25 days on average.

So anyway, my 1st and largest 3 plants will be blooming between 2-4 weeks from now. The first one started showing buds about 8-10 days ago, and the 2nd about 3 days ago. So I expect the first bloom of the year to fully open on around June 25th or so. Its Fitzy's dark Angel, a freebie plant sent by Hilltop Dahlias with my order. I'd say that 90% of the rest will be blooming in 6-7 weeks. The last 2 in 8 weeks or so.

Last year mine started blooming on Aug 5th, and the last one started blooming on September 12th. This year the first will be on around June 25, and the last about Aug 10. So I'm way ahead of last year, which was my goal, even though I'd hoped to have some blooming by June 15.

I'm growing about 17 different varieties this year, compared with 7 last year.

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ptpulley(8b Western WA)

I usually grow about 80 or 90 dahlias each year. It's very mild here where I live, and I have no garage, so my dahlias stay in the ground all winter. In March I dig them up, divide them, and get them back into the ground, usually the same day they were dug. Many of them have sprouts at that time. They grow very slowly in our cold spring though, so my first blooms never come before early to mid-July. Sometimes I have plants that don't bloom until very late in August.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 4:50AM
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The only thing I have showing buds are some little dwarf cactus dahlias I grew from seed this year. My ginger willow poms have multiple stems about 30" tall and are usually the first to bloom. Most of the standard dahlias are between 6" and 24", many have been pinched back. I have about 60 in the ground right now and another 40 or so that I just received and still need to plant. they are 1/2 submerged in soil under lights right now. Last year I had about 38 in the ground, this year closer to 100 - Thats a lot of stakes! I feel like I have been buying up all of the bamboo in town.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 7:53AM
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I was going to be hot stuff and have a bloom in may because I started alot in the house in march. Instead I apparently have opened an all night deer dahlia buffet :(

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 12:32PM
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ptpulley(8b Western WA)

collielover: so sorry about your dahlia buffet! Ouch.

I checked on my dahlias this afternoon, and I actually have buds set on my tallest plant! Maybe early July will find a bloom in my yard after all! I still have one or two just emerging from the ground too.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 10:01PM
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Wow! I was getting kind of annoyed because some of my 'early' varieties were taking longer to open than last year - and then I read this.

I've been cutting several blooms off my Patty Cake since mid May and Neon Splendor is about 1/2 open today. My 'Hawaii'(if it is Hawaii) is about to open, as is my Fire Magic and my unknown named store bought early bloomer is about a week away from fully opening.

But then our Springs are usually benign and currently we have 80 degree temps this last weekend and today.

The best thing for me is that the known late bloomers (Junkyard Dog, Rosella, Rosamunde, Matchmaker, etc) have barely sprouted. This is really shaping up as a year where I (should) have dahlias blooming from May till October. (My apologies to those who live in snow country).

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 1:26AM
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Mandolls: I hear you about the stakes! The local garden centers and Home Depot/Lowes charge a premium for longer stakes, which is what you need for 4-5 foot plants, and you need more than 1 stake per plant. I've seen $5-$6 for each stake! I needed lots of them for my other crops last year(25-30 stakes), and that wouldve cost $125 to $130 for stakes! There's no way I will buy them there. I go to the woods and cut my own stakes for free is needed, then I save them for next year. Some of them will actually root and start growing leaves if you cut them right off trees. But thats OK.

For dahlias I think the best thing is upside down 42" or larger size tomato cages. The ones with round wire hoops. They are usually $3 or so, and can be used for 5-10 years.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 1:47PM
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ptpulley(8b Western WA)

We buy the cheapest rough cedar fence boards we can find, usually about $3 for a five-foot tall, 3/4 x 6 board. My husband cuts them with a table saw, and we can get about a half dozen stakes out of one board. I also have a friend that grows a pretty large stand of tall bamboo, so sometimes we get stakes from her. I hate, hate, hate having to pay for stakes to hold my plants up!!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 9:02PM
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I have been buying packs of 7ft bamboo stakes from K-mart for about a buck per stake (I think). They are thick enough and I manage to push them into the ground about 18". I stake them using one stake per plant, but I tie them pretty obsessively all sumer. Ripping a cedar board is a great idea. I'll try that one next year. I'm not sure if bamboo grows in WI - I should look into it and see if I can grow my own.

At this point I have been getting all of my new Dahlias through trades, so with about a buck per tuber for postage and a buck for the stake, I am ok with the cost.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 7:01AM
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Today-it spent the winter in the ground. Not cold enough to freeze them. I didn't even give them any protection. Name Lilac Perfection.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 9:48AM
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Noni Morrison

Bert Pitt opened up yesterday, June 14. I started it in a pot in my greenhouse in Mid March, the potted them in 4" pots to sell. As they get bigger I move them into Gallons. THis one had lost it's label so I didn't know what it was. COuldn't sell it that way so I planted it in a planter to watch the bud open.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 7:13PM
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annabeth(Zone 8 No Cal inland)

My 'Rebecca Lynn' bloomed early this year. I had a bloom by June 1. The second to open for me was 'Swan's Olympic Flame'. Third was 'Red Velvet' and the fourth is just opening: 'Esmerelda'. The fifth has yet to open but two are in the running in a dead heat: 'Wynne's Sensation' and 'Gitt's Attention'.

We've had temps in the upper 90's for the last 4 days and I leave my tubers in the ground through the winter. ALL of the ones that are blooming that I mentioned were not divided this year.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 1:40AM
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Wow, blooms already I am so jealous. I am still only officially 16 days past the "safe" planting date. I did have a bloom open on my first seed Dahlias. But it is an 8" plant with 1 1/2" blooms, doesnt really count - pretty though.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 3:06PM
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Noni Morrison

I do a combination...leave my dahlias in the ground over winter, dig in the spring, and pot them up then start them growing in the greenhouse for a couple of months. THat is how I have one in bloom now. Counted 25 with obvious buds (Meaning I could see them while standing up). My Dahlia plants have been in the ground almost 3 weeks now.
ptpulley where do you live? I Am on Vashon Island.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 12:18AM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

Rock Star, Myrtle's Folly, and a red one I grew from seed were bloomingfully open before I got them out of the house. Megastar before I got it out of the greenhouse, and now Bahama Mama outside.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 1:49AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

I don't have any blooms yet but I do have a few buds on a couple of the shorter dahlia plants. I wish they would all just hurry up!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 10:56AM
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ptpulley(8b Western WA)

lizalily, I live straight across the water from you, on Three Tree Point, also called Point Pulley. If you stand ont the east shore of Vashon, I could probably wave to you!! In case you don't know 3 Tree Point, it's between Seattle and Des Moines, closer to Des Moines.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:33AM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

Took a stroll through the garden last night after a thunderstorm and see that Arabian night is open, too.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 12:38PM
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    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Noni Morrison

Ah, PTPulley..."HI"...waving vigorously! Actually, I am up on the top down near the south end, but I used to live at Ellisport, right across from you. Come over and see my dahlias when they are all blooming :-)

How many do you grow? I have about 190 this year and sell the flowers at my flower stand. Thus enabling me to buy more and more interesting tubers each year

Loved your hint on ripping stakes from cedar boards. We are going to try that ourselves. Right now I have a crazy collection of bamboo stakes, metal fence T posts, and bean poles and those green plastic covered metal ones that bend at teh wrong time. How I would like a nice patch with posts all the same size , and ones that won't rot in 2 or 3 years.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 10:51PM
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ptpulley(8b Western WA)

I think we have about 90 or 100 in the ground this year, and 4 have not come up. Unfortunately, 3 of those are new ones. We probably have 40 or 50 different dahlias. Most of them are in dahlia beds, but we had more this year than we had space for, so we have planted some on a hillside that has lots of other things. We usually have better luck with the dahlias in their own beds, but I guess we'll see what happens. We really pack our dahlias into the beds we have, probably more than they should be!

Maybe we can do some trading sometime. I'd love to come and see what you're growing. I used to love to go to Connell's and look at their flowers each year. I live pretty close to SeaTac gardens, and I buy from him sometimes.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 3:20AM
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For those who need scientific proof here is the data

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:30AM
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