Was this Dahlia crop a failure?

msbumble(z6 NJ)September 3, 2006

I'm in Northern New Jersey, and for the first time this year I ordered and planted a variety of Dahlia plants. Only one has put out a lot of blooms (Amber Queen). Fire Magic has produced exactly two flowers. It and a couple of other varieties (Buffie G , Ruskin Gypsy & Cornel) have produced some little buds that are sitting there doing nothing. Is it early in the bloom season for these, or should I have had flowers by now?

Has anyone else in my region had a problem this year? We did have a cool spring and some ghastly heat this summer. Your thoughts?

p.s. I planted them with some bone meal and Flower Tone in each hole, and kept up with watering during the heat wave.

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I have the same problem this year. At the moment I have lots of buds, but I still wonder if they will actually bloom before the first frost. They LOOK really healthy. I figured I OVER fertilized and since this was a new bed I churned a LOT of compost over the last few months. The only dahlia that has bloomed is this lemon dinner plate dahlia that is completely different from the photo/description on the package I purchased!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 6:21AM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Msbumble, I'm not in your region but we also have a cool damp Spring well into June and are still having a run of warm or hot days. Of the varieties you listed, Cornel just has its first 3 blooms here, Fire Magics have each had about 3-4 flowers, and Buffie G is showing pink color but won't unfurl its first bud no matter how much I beg. All were planted in very late May, if not June. So I think you're right on schedule, or at least we have similar bloom times on these.

I will say that the Fire Magic might have been earlier but both plants were shaded too much by towering neighbor dahlias.

Here's Cornel

Preciousbane, I use a lot of compost every year just to improve the soil. Unless you have a lot of manure in yours, I don't think it would be too high in nitrogen. Full sun and ample watering seem to be the best ticket to blooming here, and patience doesn't hurt in many cases either.
That package labelling mix up seems to be a real epidemic at the big box stores.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 9:25AM
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msbumble(z6 NJ)

Thanks for your replies- one of my plants must have heard me complain, because I looked out this morning to see several blooms on the Ruskin Gypsy, and more on the Amber Queen.
Poochella, lovely Cornel. It looks pinker than the catalog photo I based my purchase on though, which was maroon. Not that it matters since I've only got foliage anyway.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 10:18AM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Thanks, Cornel is indeed a deep rich dark red. Camera settings can be deceiving and confounding especially to me!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 1:54PM
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I'm in Michigan, zone 5. My dahlias are fantastic this year. Even the small annual ones I planted are doing great. The are the size of bushel baskets. Many of my dahlias were planted in a new bed this year, which I enriched with peat moss and manure. I always use bone meal when I plant the tuber. It sure worked well this year.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 9:46PM
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