Who plants AA dahlias?

pbaby(z4 Wisconsin)September 23, 2005

Every time I get bored at work I end up here. And then I end up shooting off onto poster's links, drooling over dahlia pics, fantasizing about next year's dahlia garden etc. etc.

Anyway...that has led me to this question: Does anyone plant AA dahlia's in with their other flowers? And for those really big dahlia's, do they need special pruning (debudding) for big flowers? Also, are AA dahlias generally taller overall as plants? (Okay, so it turned into question-S)


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My sister has jumbo dahlias, anyone know what they are called?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 6:07PM
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plantlady2(NW Washington)

We plant AA dahlias everywhere. If grown for showing they usually are put in a cutting garden so that a lot of one kind can be grown so as to have a good one for each show. They have to be disbudded & disbranched to only allow 4-6 on each plant so if they're in a border they might be bare for most of the season. That being said- I have a friend who likes big dahlias & grows them at the back of their mixed borders. They don't disbranch & they only disbud down 4 leaf joints - they get a lot of large blooms a season-- but they're not HUGE like they would be if grown only 4-6 up.
AA's are not overall taller than most dahlias- except for the really short border ones or the dwarf ones. We have them all the way from 4' & up-- UP being Kenora Clyde that you need a stepladder & binocs to even SEE the the blooms! Most are around 4-5' by this time of year.
To answer clairdo's question- never heard of jumbo dahlias- there's AA's, A's, B's, BB's etc, all the way down to poms & the other types but jumbo?? Not a dahlia classification I ever heard of.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 2:56AM
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pbaby(z4 Wisconsin)

Hi Plantlady and thanks! If you happen to see this...well, I'm a newbie (albeit obsessed one). When you say "disbud 4 branches down"...do you mean the plant grows and then you disbud 4 branches from the top? Could you explain? Sorry, but I just can't seem to grasp this. I disbudded a little, kind of randomly, this summer.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 10:31AM
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Anyone ever heard of or seen "The Big Wow?" That dahlia has a bloom I measured at 16-17 " across!


-Another dahlia nut

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 10:48AM
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plantlady2(NW Washington)

If you're growing for show you top the center of the dahlia out when it gets about a foot tall. Then it puts out 4 branches instead of one central one. You don't let it get any more branches after that. You disbud these 4 branches down almost to the bottom so the plant only grows 4 blooms all season. It's hard to get rid of all those potential blooms but if you want really BIG ones that's what you have to do. If you want just big ones you can let the plant grow 6-8 branches & only disbud down 4-6 leaf nodes & you will get more blooms but they won't be as big.
We have a bloom out there on a seedling that dwarfs a basketball! I took a picture of it with a soccerball & a basketball-- will try to get it in our album this weekend so you can see it.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 8:14PM
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judy1(Z6 NL CANADA)

I grow 14 AA dahlias. I grow them for my own pleasure , not showing. I do not bother with disbudding. I deadhead every week or two and get lots of blooms. The first blooms are always larger. There are different heights. I have them from 3 ft. to 7 ft. They all need to be staked. I grow annuals in front of them. The biggest challenge is always the strong wind we get in the fall. It can be extra hard on the AA's, if coupled with rain which makes them really heavy and breaks the stems. They are worth the growing in spite of this. Give them a try.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 4:23PM
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I have a terrible time with "topping." Last year I topped everything, and had short dahlias! Yuck! I don't plan to show as I feel that someone would be critical of my dahlia.

I just love dahlias!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 11:23AM
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princesspeony(z5 Illinois)

tcgreene, I'm curious about the "Big Wow" you mentioned. What color is it and where did you get it. I love huge flowers. One fills a vase and looks spectacular. I have grown "Emory Paul" without disbudding or doing anything at all to the plant and the flowers were almost a foot across.I would love to try "Big Wow". Also, did you do anything special to yours? And, did it need staking ? I was surprised at "Emory Paul" because I put in a stake but didn't need it. The stalk was sturdy and stiff. I would love to find another like it.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 3:28AM
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Hi I am looking for a Emory Paul Delia its named after my great grand father-If you find them please let me know -I would like to plant one in his memory-I think his brrother Walter used to grow them and show them and named them after his brother-they were planted all over my grandmothers yard and my great grandfathers grave

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 11:11PM
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You are in luck Tammy, or I think you are! Swan Island is having their close out sale, and they carry Emory Paul for $6.95. The sale is for 30% off, and to access the price, the code is flower3. Being one interested in family history as well as dahlias, I appreciate your quest! My father and mother always raised dahlias, and apparently they passed that down to me somehow. http://www.dahlias.com/aasize-over10blooms.aspx

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 12:14AM
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The American Dahlia Society is considering a name change for what they call AA sized dahlias(over 10 inches in diameter). The letter system of AA, A, B, BB and so on can be confusing and they would go with names: AA= Giant, A = Large and so on. We will see if it happens.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 11:13AM
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