Best place to order dahlia tubers for spring

marysySeptember 22, 2007

I am fairly new to dahlias, having only grown them for several seasons. I started with some that were given to me and have been successful with digging, storage and the plants. I thought to expand my dahlia garden next spring and wanted advice from you experts as to the best place to order them, for selection and quality. Thanks

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I have been happy with Dan's,Corralitos and Aztec. Connell's and Swan Island get mentioned quite a bit also.
You can search for the cultivar you want in the Big List also.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Big List

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 5:43PM
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Ferncliff Gardens in BC. Best tubers of anyone. You have to pay the AG fee from Canada but it is worth it. Corralitos is excellent for ordering cuttings that grow easily. Both on the big list.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 9:44PM
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Thank you for your recommendations. I ordered catalogs from your list. I had to laugh at the "big list". I had No idea. I just know that I have a red, purple, yellow and small white ones. The learning process begins. Thanks

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 1:10PM
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If you just want dahlias and don't care so much about the names, check out Costco in the early spring - they were selling 9 tubers for $12 last year. It turns out some of mine seem to be mislabelled, but for the amount of money I spent I'm not going to complain. If you look at local garden centers I would carefully squeeze the tubers to make sure they are firm, I've gotten really old stock from reputable garden centers.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 9:17PM
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Check what you order as I had repeats of tubers and other tubers in colors I didn't order at all. You won't know about it until they come up . Just let them know when you order that you have heard about this type of thing.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:00AM
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You won't get the quality and variety going to Costco, Home Depot Etc......I recommend Calvin Cook at Arrowhead Dahlias in Colorado. I ordered from him this past Spring and also went out to see his operation a few weeks back while I had a weekend layover in Colorado Springs with my airline. Clavin and his wife Julie do a tremendous job. I've also used Corralitos Gardens in CA run by Kevin Larkin and Karen Zydner. They sell cuttings and completely guarantee their product. Additional places I've ordered over the past few years with excellent tubers include: Ferncliff Gardens in BC (David and Sheila Jack), Dan's Dahlias, Cory and Walt Wynne at Wynne's Dahlias, and Ken Greenway at Accent Dahlias. Another great source for quality dahlia tubers are the local dahlia societies in your area. Check with them for dates of their Spring tuber sales.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:48PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

I will second votes to Wynne's, Dan's, Accent, and add Cowlitz River Dahlias, SeaTac Gardens, along with Swan Island. My lifetime goal is to buy dahlias from every NW producer and then branch into Canada :)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 1:17PM
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well I did start with " If you don't care" ! The bigger dahlia fans in this group are right, the growers do a better job than the box stores, but if you just want to grow flowers to cut, I have found Costco to work just fine. The tubers are firm, not dried out and yes, this last year for the first time it looks like some were mislabelled, but for the most part in the last 3 years it was well worth the savings to just get tubers and enjoy them. I also didn't feel quite so horrified when an unexpected freeze did in many of last years tubers drying out on the deck. This year they are going to dry for about 3 hours and then get packed! But the downside is you just can't be 100% sure about what is going to open from that bud.

I have new neighbors from Bellevue, they just looked at me when I mentioned how they must have enjoyed the dahlias up that way. Didn't even know what they had missed.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 11:37PM
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Noni Morrison

I have ordered quite a few dahlias from both Connell's and Swan Island,and recently from Coralitos. I have had a wonderful time going to Connell's open houses and picking out plants to grow the next year. To my surprise when I looked back to previous years I discovered that The ones I still have are almost all Swan Island nd Corralitos. The Connell's ones have had a very poor survival rate for me over the years. Must be some difference in the way they process the tubers, but even when I just leave them in the ground the SWAN ISLAND ones are more likely to live and keep going!

I also have some from Costco that have been outstanding and are long term survivors, sometimes no longer available in other places. Two of my sturdiest long term survivors are a large dark red backed with green petaloids,(We just call it BIG RED as my buddy has no memory for names, and Cafe Au Lait which is just a champion for us and the last dahlia left blooming, even into December! I also got my starts of Procyon, Penelope,and Berger's Record from Costco, and they are all terrific dahlias for me! Of course I haunt the racks when they are first put out each year!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 1:35PM
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Thank you to everyone who mentioned Corralitos. I didn't realize they offer cuttings. I looked at their website & started drooling already at the possibility of getting earlier blooms next year (my buds just started opening a few days ago). Will definitely give 'em a try!


    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 1:03PM
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I ordered my dahlias from Swan Island online and have been very pleased! This was my first experience with growing dahlias. I ordered 12 bulbs. They were packaged and shipped very well. All were stamped with their name and came with instructions on exactly how to plant and care for them. "Sisa was an early bloomer and the most abundant bloomer of them all. The other 11 are really coming out now and are beautiful. I love taking them to work for our patients to enjoy. Love my dahlias!!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Yep - In my world, Dahlias are the absolute best cut flower. Thats a nice little bouquet.

Swan Island can be relied upon time after time. I would bet that everyone who reads on this forum has purchased from them.

Be careful, Dahlias get addictive.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 6:18AM
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GreenEarthLawns(7/East TN)

Looks like everyone's got some experience, so I figured I'd ask, how many blooms should be expected from tubers vs. cuttings in the first year for B/BB size blooms? Just trying to track down some information that's hard to find elsewhere!



    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 12:42PM
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mandolls is sooo right!

Greenearthlawns, I'm keeping records this year to see how many blooms my tubers produce. Most of my plants this year came from tubers saved or purchased though I did take some cuttings. I just didn't record which plants were grown from the cuttings. Hope someone else has!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 11:10PM
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Noni Morrison

I haven't noticed any difference in numbers between the rooted cuttings and tubers. I think it varies more form lant to plant...some are great producers of tubers, some make loads of cut flowers and fewer tubers. ALso, you will get far more small flowers from a plant then large flowers because it takes so much more energy from the plant to make them. MY Razz-ma-tazz,a rapsberry and lemon pom (new tuber purchased this year), prestarted in my greenhouse and set out in my garden in Late May, has produced probably over 20 flowers. Wyn's Mystique, a HUGE Magenta flower with twisty petals and white on the back sides of the petals has produced it first 10" magnificant flower, and has 3 more buds at different stages coming along. I would expect Pazz-ma-tazz to make many tubers and Wyn's Mystique to make fewer, but its just a guess until I dig them up!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 12:36AM
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ctreynard(Zone 6--Chicopee, MA)

Gosh. This is the first year I've had tubers AND rooted cuttings, and it's been a HORRID year for growth. I potted up my tubers early too...I've had better luck with tubers this year in regards to plants AND FLOWERS, as I've had flowers on the plants started from tubers...the plants from cuttings are plugging along, no trace of flowers yet. We'll see.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 7:32AM
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I have ordered practically from almost everyone, and my recommendations go to Swan Dahlias, aka, Accent Dahlias, Alpen Gardens, and Wynn's. All very realiable. Worst dahlias I have received came from Elhorn gardens in or near Santa Barbara, California. They sent me 1/2 of a bulb, and punny little ones. Will never buy from them again.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:09PM
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