Weirdest thing

softballmom(Z7VA)August 30, 2007

I was out yesterday and noticed that my Dahlia just form its first flower. It's the end of August and I'm getting my first flower on only one of my Dahlia's. Anyone else in ZONE 7 having this problem????

Could it be that the tubers were to immature to bloom this year?

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I have talked to many of my dahlia growing friends and this seems to be a wide-spread problem this year. I don't live in your zone, but probably 50% of my flowers haven't bloomed yet (I grow about 350 varieties). If the tubers had eyes and/or sprouts, they were mature enough to grow and bloom.

I planted the 1st part of June, which is much later than normal, but an even weirder thing is that in one part of my garden, where I didn't plant until the end of June, many of the plants are taller than the earlier planted ones and ready to bloom. This may be because it is the first time anything has been planted there.

Seems every year Mother Nature gives us something different to deal with.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 8:24AM
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I live in zone 7 in Georgia, and my Mystery Day, that I planted the middle of june has 2 blooms that just started to open. I also have Kevin Floodlight that I planted last year and it bloomed very early summer, but now has a bad case of fungus and spider mites.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 3:58PM
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I have been growing dahlias for 5 years. This year I ordered a special selection of dahlias and am very discouraged with the lack of blooms. Usually in this zone we manage to get two crops of flowers from dahlias. On my twelve plants I have had 3 blooms.

I would like to hear more about this from any experts out there.
Thank you

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 5:50PM
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I am about 45 miles north of NYC and yes, I too have a third of my dahlias yet to bloom and I am speaking of those which I did not pot up in April but merely planted in Mid May.

We had nasty, cool 50-60 degree nights here in May and, in point of fact, many nights in June. So I attribute my slow growers to the fact the soil did not heat up as quickly as in prior years. I assumed it was just a NY, Conn., Mass thing but maybe Va too.

We still have Sept and Oct though.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 7:50PM
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That just makes me want to ask the question - what do dahlias need that they aren't getting? As far as I know they prefer a soil temp of at least 70 to really get going. I grow dahlias in containers on the deck so I've been able to increase soil temp artificially. I was blaming my container soil mix this year - I experimented. Of all the tubers I planted this year there must have been a superhealthy batch of White Perfection because everything else has 1 bloom or none, but the WP's are loaded.

I went to the county fair yesterday hoping to see the dahlia exhibit and unfortunately the judging is today so they were just unloading dahlias at 6 pm last night. Didn't get to see much. Rats!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 10:33AM
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No buds/blooms yet. My plants are just reaching their height and look like they'll bud soon so I'll just be patient. I planted well after our late freeze (around late May).
BTW, the green-eyed monster is seriously rearing it's ugly head when I see all those gorgeous pics of dahlias people are posting.
This is my second year of trying dahlias and I'm afraid I may be so disappointed (again) that I'll have to give up my quest for dahlias due to a lack of a green thumb & too much ignorance.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 12:28PM
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Noni Morrison

Green thumbs grow and ignorance can be educated. Keep on growing with your dahlias!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 1:19PM
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Thanks for the kind words, Lizalily. This forum is my "Dahlia Bible" where I soak up as much wisdom & advice as possible. I'd be lost without it!
I've learned to build and put proper nutrients into my raised bed, use tomato cages as stakes, pinch centers, pull off lower leaves to allow air circulation, use slug bait & insecticidal soap, proper nitrogen/feeding schedules, awesome winter storage procedures, and tons of other tips. I keep telling myself that it'll take years to learn all the proper ways to keep happy healthy dahlias with minimal loss.
As for this year, I have a spark of hope to salvage the 6 plants (of the dozen or more that I tried to grow) that have made it so far. Spartacus has multiple giant buds on it and should open up anytime now. The others are just budding/close to budding. I'm sure all I need is a few blooms to fall in love with to keep me going!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 12:42PM
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Noni Morrison

One glorious bloom will give hope to the faintest of heart! And Spartacus would do it in a second for me! I had my first one only a few weeks ago though most of my dahlias have been in bloom for weeks. Islander was my song of triumph this year and I have had 3 blooms on her so far.

Aside from that I seem to have multiple critters eating the white tips off of any white tipped flowers. SO far I have watched a grass hopper (I did not even know we had them this summer!) multiple ear wigs, and some other bug I was not familiar with, maybe a catapiller of some sort, crawl out of the decimated flowers. One had multiple slugs up in the top of the plant. I see that the white tips are eaten before the bud even opens. It sure is depressing as I have no other particular need for poisons in my organic garden. I am thinking about spraying them with ammonia water to make them taste nasty and at least get the slugs. I had to shut my slug eating ducks out when they developed a taste for dahlia leaves.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 11:40PM
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I looked up Islander and it's huge and gorgeous. Congrats on growing it! Was it really an 8"-10" bloom? Any pics?

Sorry about them dang critters. Have you tried the organic slug bait? I think it's iron phosphate and several brands available (I actually found some at Lowes in their new organics section). I used it this year on my organic veggie garden and around my dahlias with success.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 12:52PM
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I thought a circle of wood ashes kept slugs away....anyway, I don't have'em but my last plant has yet to bloom, and there are 4 more that have only had one or two blooms and I fear the frost is going to be early this year. Yikes.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 8:37PM
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