Late Planted Dahlia

morpheuspaJune 29, 2014

Long story short, my canna tubers finally got old and half didn't sprout this year (they lasted nine years, though, so no complaints).

I purchased some off the shelf dahlia at Home Depot (Blue Boy, Sun Lady, and Color Spectacle) to fill in. But I've never planted dahlia this late before--June 18th.

Ten of twelve are already sprouted, two of those are actually already four inches tall and quite wide.

What are the chances I might see a bloom or two this year? I'd be happy with just greenery, but it would be nice if they did bloom for me.

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welltraveled(z5Mid Mich)

They should bloom late August right up until you have a freeze

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 6:47PM
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morpheuspa

Thank you, WellTraveled!

I'm noticing that, compared to dahlia planted in early May, they're growing explosively. I have great hopes for mid-August blooms, but won't be upset if it's the end of August.

Thanks for the reassurance!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 11:45PM
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mandolls(4)

oh yeah in zone 7 you should definitely get blooms this year. They grow much faster in warm weather (though not super hot weather) so they may catch up pretty fast.

For me (Z-4), sometimes planting them out to early only slows them down.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 3:53PM
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morpheuspa

Awesome, thanks! They've added another inch since I posted that yesterday and now actually look like little plants.

I know they're common as dirt dahlia and certainly nothing special, but I have a weakness for pretty, cuttable dahlia that weren't expensive and that I don't have to agonize over.

Ask me about my stand of (extremely popular as bouquets) cheap Sky Angel. :-)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 4:02PM
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portia(PA 6B, Brandywine)

Talk about late planted, I just picked up some 50% walmart packages of Penny Lane and Bonesta, they were all sprouted, not rotted, multiple new eyes popping and I have them out on my screened porch acclimating before I plant them. It's 90 yesterday and today and I swear that the sprouts grew another inch at least yesterday just from being out and exposed to the warmth. So we'll see when they bloom but these guys want to grow so badly.

The rest of my plants have definitely grown leaps and bounds in just the last week--and later planted ones are catching up quickly, so you may be surprised!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:45AM
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morpheuspa

Isn't it great? The season of cheap dahlia, even if they're pretty common sorts (that still look wonderful in a vase).

Yep, 92 here today. The dahlia are launching skyward at incredible rates, and the Sky Angel (planted at the end of April) is getting ready for its first bloom!

I step out each morning and encourage the new dahlia to grow and promise them plenty of food and attention. :-)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 3:58PM
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HighlanderNorth

You should definitely see lots of blooms from early September through October. You should get 2 full months of blooms til first frost. I am in zone 6b, and I get blooms til November 1st to 3rd almost every year, because thats when we usually get the first hard frost. At 7a you should experience the same situation almost.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 6:13PM
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morpheuspa

At this point, I'm wondering if they're going to be early. Growth seems hyper-accelerated.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 2:01PM
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niname

This is my first time growing dahlias and I was amazed to see buds mid June with 1st bloom June 27(barbarosa)! Now there are another 6 plants in bloom!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 8:00AM
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morpheuspa

Awesome! Mine are still growing explosively, but the weather's been good and hot (and the bed is raised and drains beautifully).

My Sky Angel, planted May first, just started with the first blossom.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:49PM
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niname

This is my first time growing dahlias and I was amazed to see buds mid June with 1st bloom June 27(barbarosa)! Now there are another 6 plants in bloom!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 7:28AM
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morpheuspa

First blossom open here. :-) It's a pretty (if cheap) Sky Angel, and I never have the heart to cut that first bloom for a vase.

Dahlia are fun, although something I only recently got into. At least the rabbits don't seem to care for them, although the Japanese beetles are doing a bit of a number on 'em.

I'm still watching my (cheap) Blue Boy develop rapidly, along with the (cheap) Sun Lady and (not so cheap but still pretty cheap) Color Spectacle.

Next year? Figaro dahlia are already in the plan, along with more Harlequin and some Fireworks.

I should post with questions about the Figaro--I'm not worried about hue variance, but would prefer the red actually be red, not orange...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 6:10AM
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portia(PA 6B, Brandywine)

yup those cheap Walmart dahlias are kind of going crazy, some of the ones I planted just 2 weeks ago are already a foot tall.

I had to laugh because I planted oh...55 total tubers this year and the most rambunctious growing are the cheapest ones; all of my expensive $5-8 tubers are either growing more slowly OR haven't done a thing.

Treated them all the same, they are 55 growing split mostly between 2 beds. It's just so interesting! I'm almost put off by the more expensive varieties actually. And I def am going to buy in at least groups of 2 next year so that if one tuber doesn't take at least I have a backup.

I am pretty sad that some of the prettiest ones I bought from Swan and Old House are the ones that didn't do a thing. It is like they are still sleeping! And a few are slowly going soft, so I don't have much hope. I even dug them up to keep an eye on them and try to get some growth.

But the rest are great--I have about 3-4 buds right now slowly ripening. It's my first year with dahlias so I'm excited.

Also...I got some on sale from Easy To Grow Bulbs and was shocked and surprised, all of them are growing like mad... Barbarossa in particular seems robust.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 1:28PM
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morpheuspa

That's always the way, the cheap ones do best (probably because they have the widest genetic base).

Although dahlia are octoploidal (they have eight copies of each chromosome), so genetic diversity is less of a problem for them than, say, us.

I think my Harlequin were $3.50 for 50 seeds or something like that, so all of $0.07 per plant with near 100% germination.

I got the Blue Boy on closeout for around $0.50 a tuber. All have grown (and a few of the little tubers they threw in free because they probably weren't viable actually were viable). Same with the Sun Lady.

Some (my cousin, a total plant snob) say that they're common and the flowers are too small to be showy. I disagree. Plus they're numerous, cheerful, and cuttable--and last ages in a vase. How you can criticize a 3 to 4 inch bloom is beyond me, particularly when in full bloom the bush will have 20 to 30 blooms on it at one time!

I love the Barbarossa! I'm looking for that color in a dwarf dahlia (and I don't care what shape the flower is) to use as a bedding plant. I use a fair bit of red in the gardens.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 4:31PM
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portia(PA 6B, Brandywine)

I'm a bit of a rose snob, so I get it, haha. I would like to grow some more rare varieties, but have no issues growing easier ones especially for cut flowers--I love giant vases of blooms!

Some of the cheapies I got are supposed to be large/dinner sized so we shall see. I got some Cafe Au Lait from easytogrowbulbs on clearance, thought they were all sold out everywhere, so we'll see if they bloom and if they are really CaL!

So far my budding plants are Kogane Fubuki; Lake Michigan; and a painters mix from Home Depot.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 8:21PM
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morpheuspa

I have double Knockout roses in red, and Knockouts in yellow. I don't really do rose snobbery. :-)

Dinner plate sized seems really unreliable, and I refuse to remove side buds. Not because it's tedious and/or time consuming, I don't mind that, but because I won't remove a blossoming flower. :-)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 2:09AM
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morpheuspa

Update: most of the dahlia are at full adult size, and three are already festooned with buds. Blooming looks like it's going to be within the next seven days.

The others are starting to set buds, but it'll be a bit yet.

My overall evaluation is that you can late-plant dahlia with no problems and they develop very, very well and quite quickly!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 7:46PM
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CCvacation

There's no shame in buying cheap, but there is only a limited selection at those prices. Once you're hooked, it's natural to expand your collection into show-quality varieties. Often, 'dinnerplate' on the clearance racks refers to any bloom above four inches! To me, a large dahlia is ten to fourteen inches wide, and takes a while to set buds and bloom.

By the way, Heatwave is a very nice low growing red dahlia that is often available at Walmart. I grew it last year and was very happy with it, but lost it this spring.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 1:30AM
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morpheuspa

I love that! I'm always searching for a good red for the gardens.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 12:50PM
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portia(PA 6B, Brandywine)

I just picked up Heatwave at a local garden nursery that pots up tubers in spring, they are already 30% off and I was eyeballing Heatwave last time, beautiful red.

This time, I couldn't pass up a 3 gallon pot at 3 feet tall for $10 with buds. :) I snapped a pic at the nursery when I saw it in bloom a few weeks ago.

My cheapo bulbs are about 2' tall already, some of them outpacing earlier planted varieties. I also picked up some super clearanced ones for $1 (figured if I didn't buy them and plant them no one would) that are doing ok, figure if I see a bloom off them it was worth it.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:03AM
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morpheuspa

I love. It's exactly the reasonably-pure red I always gravitate toward (I'm also guilty of gravitating toward reasonably pure yellows, oranges, purples, and blues). I'm not adverse to red-oranges, yellow-oranges, purple-blue...

OK, so I never met a bright color I didn't like, particularly when combined with every other bright color I like.

It's a bit of a color riot. But I like it.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:37AM
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morpheuspa

This is just starting to open, but the Blue Boy are doing beautifully. There are two flanking blossoms that will open later on, and a host coming up out of the parent plant.

The color here isn't true; this particular flower is almost a perfect violet, just a little less saturated. If all of them bloom this color and size, I'll be absolutely thrilled!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 4:33PM
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morpheuspa

The second and third Blue Boy are in bloom and as nice as the first (which I trimmed and put into a bud vase, where it's gorgeous, but top-heavy!)

The equally cheap Sun Lady bloomed two days ago, highlighter yellow. No, seriously, I was up before sunrise this morning and wondered what was glowing in the garden in the very dim dawn light. It was the Sun Lady.

Two more Sun Ladies are opening.

The Color Spectacle is budding up and getting ready, it should bloom by Monday or Tuesday if the weather holds warm.

So again, late plant away as long as the tubers are healthy! They're a great late season surprise!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 2:51AM
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