Are some Dahlias easier to grow?

tropical_thought(San Francisco)August 4, 2012

I planted Kevin Floodlight and Big Pink and Kevin Flood light is doing much better. Is Big Pink for advanced Dahlia growers? They are in the same place and getting the same treatment.

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mandolls(4)

From what I understand, some types of Dahlias are more dependable than others. Some seem more susceptible to variations - depending on weather conditions, soil etc. Also sometimes you simply have tubers that are not as strong. I dont think that there are any that need special or different care,

I have a Dahlia blooming this year that did very poorly last year - only 2 or three blooms. but I dug and divided it, gave away two and planted two this spring, and this year, it is the first to bloom with at least 10 buds showing on each plant.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 6:53AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

Big Pink decided to grow at an angle. Instead of growing in a straight line, it moved over towards the south then grew up right, but it's weak being all moved over. There is a flower, but it doesn't want to open either.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:01AM
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davidinsf

I live in the Sunset and dahlias do this to me every year (I have 67 so far).

Some grow straight up, others will bend and then grow upwards. Usually it is a slight lack of water and they (mine) are actually falling over until they get more water and that creates a bend in the stem. (I actually like dahlias over other plants because the blooms will open toward North, East, west or south - they don't care. You'd think they would bend toward the most sun but I can tell you that is NOT true in my yard)

The bud not opening is another matter. Could happen for many reasons.

Like mandolls, I've had tubers sprout but no buds and then flourish the next year. I planted Patches last spring and it NEVER sprouted all year. This year it came up and is now blooming. Last year it was Fire Magic that barely sprouted in 2010 but bloomed (weakly, 3-4 blooms) in 2011 and yet has given me a dozen blooms this year. Same location, same sun, etc. Go figure.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:07PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I did not water it that much when it was starting out, because I read online that they are vulnerable to rotting before they start leafing out. But, Kevin Floodlight got the same exact treatment and is doing great, so I wonder if it could be a due to the drip system. I have a drip, but I also hand water the soil.

I think the flower won't open due to lack of sun we have right now. Kevin had already flowered and is now on the second wave of flowering. Big Pink has not opened the flower, and it was very late in getting buds.

Maybe next year, it will do better. I can't decide if I should try to dig it up or let it be. Sometimes they rot if I try to store them and they won't freeze here. It may like staying in the ground, but I think they dig them up in golden gate park at the Dahlia garden, so they must know what they are doing.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:23PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

The flower opened. I had to debud a bit, and that really helped. The weather has been foggy and cold. There is a lack of sun right now. I am sure next year will be better. Should I dig them up or let them stay all winter?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 11:20AM
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davidinsf

The dahlia garden(ers) dig them up because they don't want them stolen more than anything. It's also easier to weed when you aren't worried about stepping on shoots.

I leave all mine in the ground all winter. And while I expect to lose a couple every year,I have found if they are going to rot, they will usually rot in the 1st year.

I have a Kelvin that is JUST starting to open but I planted it later than I should have. Otto's Thrill was planted at the same time and has one huge 10 inch flower and another 6-7 incher opening with other buds opening. But it is in the ground while Kelvin is in a pot. Then again, Barbarrosa is in a pot right next to Kelvin, was planted at the same time as Kelvin and Otto and has already flowered one huge dinnerplate, so go figure.

The only year I have found where fog affected my yard was that summer of 2010(?) where I didn't see the sun for 6-8 weeks and it was DRIPPING wet all summer. This year has been great and my yard is looking its' best in 5 years.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:03PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

It has been a good year, but as of late it has been foggy, but spring was very warm and sunny. Some bulbs rot when I dig them up and live when I live them in the ground or visa versa. It is hard to know what to do sometimes.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:20PM
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