Is anyone growing Ripples?

steve22802(7a VA)August 28, 2013

I got Ripples as a bonus incentive from Swan Island and it is just not thriving. it's just sitting there with a scrawny little 16 inch plant that has been about the same size for weeks. The other dahlias in that bed that were planted at the same time are mostly 3 to 4 feet tall and blooming nicely in the same soil and location. Is anyone else having better luck with this cultivar? Or the same problem?

- Steve

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Ripples is a sport of Rip City. Both are very susceptible to virus and fail to grow very tall when infected. Since you got it for free, you can hardly complain.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 1:08AM
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steve22802(7a VA)

>> Since you got it for free, you can hardly complain.

I disagree. I think it is a bad policy for a company to send out unhealthy disease prone tubers as a bonus. I would rather receive no bonus at all. If they are going to choose to offer a bonus it should be healthy overstock not some poor performing cultivar. Poor performing cultivars should be destroyed not distributed as a bonus.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 8:17AM
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I sympathize with you. Getting a 'bad' dahlia is not what we wait for months to see.

But I seriously doubt S.I. sent it knowing it was diseased. Even a FREE tuber they will replace if you are not satisfied and therefore it costs them money to send it, so it is in their best interest to always send good tubers. And I'm not even sure how they would know by looking at the tuber. Since they have MANY plants making tubers, it might be impossible to even tell WHICH plant made the deficient tuber (assuming it IS deficient) but if they see a diseased plant, I guarantee you it is 86'd out of their beds and not harvested.

If you have the space for an 'ICU' section, put it in there for a year (or two). I have a Rip City that did great the 1st year and went downhill after that, not even blooming in yrs 2-3. This year I gave me 3 blooms on a plant about 12 inches high but the blooms are perfect. It likely was infected also but appears to be climbing back up to normal.

One more thought. I have had a workhorse dahlia for 5-6 years that always did well. Two years ago it started looking 'fatigued' - kind of tired and not so many or as robust blooms. I waited a year and last year it just about tanked. Looked REALLY bad so I determined it was a goner and meant to replace it this year. I didn't do anything different with it over the winter but I never got around to digging it up and this year it was THE NUMBER ONE PERFORMER in my yard. Over 7 ft tall, dozens and dozens of perfect 4-7inch bright blooms on 3-4 strong canes. I have ZERO idea why it blossomed into the best producer I have (out of 80 dahlias) and ZERO idea why it looked so bad last year. But it happens.

I'd give it another year and if it still underproduces, you can shovel prune it next year.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 11:33PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

>> I'd give it another year and if it still underproduces,
>> you can shovel prune it next year.

Well, too late for that. I dug it up yesterday and destroyed it. I didn't want to risk transferring disease to the rest of my collection. Back when I only had a handful of cultivars I might have tried to nurse it along but now I've got around 85 different cultivars and I'm becoming more ruthless with discarding under performers. I'm also starting to eliminate cultivars that can't take the heat here in Virginia. Some of these might perform just fine in a cooler moist climate but here they just blow out their centers and are useless.

For the record, I've been pleased with Swan Island and will not ask for a replacement for Ripples. They already sent me a replacement for a Mary Munns tuber that failed to sprout.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 12:32PM
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" I didn't want to risk transferring disease to the rest of my collection." Most dahlias have virus of one kind or another. And people are infected with very many viruses that exhibit no symptoms too. Yes, that virus makes Ripples not grow very well. That same virus is probably infecting several of your other varieties but they exhibit no symptoms.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 4:14PM
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