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Old House Gardens dahlias not growing

Posted by portia PA 6B, Brandywine (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 26, 14 at 19:26

I've planted almost 40 tubers this year, most of them started early and some of them are 1-2 feet tall at this point.

I got a handful of bulbs from Old House Gardens which offers heirloom vintage dahlias. Only one or two out of the 6 I purchased have actually budded and are growing stalks. One of them had an eye with the start of a stem but it's died back since I planted it in the ground. But everything else other than one more (Fuzzy Wuzzy from Swan's) is growing fine.

Has anyone had this happen with OHG tubers specifically? I am going to email them but wanted to just ask first--also wondered if maybe heirloom might just take longer--but these things aren't even growing roots. The tubers aren't softening either. They are just acting like they are completely dormant and sleeping. They are in the same bed as other tubers, getting full sun probably about 10hours a day.

Funny how some of the dahlias really just leap out of sleep and go gangbusters from day 1, others leap up then kind of grow more slowly and then you have these which aren't doing anything!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Old House Gardens dahlias not growing

  • Posted by portia PA 6B, Brandywine (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 27, 14 at 21:23

Update, wrote OHG, they said to put the tubers into a plastic baggie with a bit of damp peat moss and seal it partially, then put in a warm area. They said that should pop some eyes. We shall see...they also offered to replace or refund if it didn't work which is great.


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RE: Old House Gardens dahlias not growing

I have several dahlias that did nothing this year and some that have just started growing. The others that are growing are way too small for this time of the year. I am extremely disappointed with them, since they are my favorite flower. I have to assume that the cool weather in my area(mid-michigan) has slowed the growth since everything is behind schedule.


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RE: Old House Gardens dahlias not growing

I have several dahlias that did nothing this year and some that have just started growing. The others that are growing are way too small for this time of the year. I am extremely disappointed with them, since they are my favorite flower. I have to assume that the cool weather in my area(mid-michigan) has slowed the growth since everything is behind schedule.


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RE: Old House Gardens dahlias not growing

There are lots of people who love to buy old varieties of dahlias and many of them are very nice. They are a bit trickier to grow and as the previous person says they may not jump out of the ground like many newer varieties. Baby them along and they will give you some very nice flowers. My favorite old one is Sellwood Glory and it is gorgeous. I would also say that any problems with the varieties not growing is more related to the fact they are so old than the company. The tubers actually come from a large dahlia farm that grows them for Old House Gardens. These old varieties are just a bit less vigorous than modern ones.


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RE: Old House Gardens dahlias not growing

  • Posted by portia PA 6B, Brandywine (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 13:36

I'm still waiting but so far nothing has happened with the baggie trick or even outside of it. I dug out one of the ones I left in the ground and it has literally done nothing, not even grown one root. Sad because I got a few really beautiful varieties that I was excited to see bloom. Next year I'll get 2 tubers of each just to hopefully have a backup.

I'm having the same issue with a few (2 out of 5) of the Swan Island dahlias I got at their clearance sale, nothing is happening. Ironic because the most expensive purchases I made this year were at Old House and Swan and they have the highest rate of failure so far.

I'll console myself with the other oh..40+ plants I have growing and try again next year. :)

BTW Sellwood looks beautiful, may try that next year.


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RE: Old House Gardens dahlias not growing

I'm curious which ones didn't bloom for you from Old House - I have a couple myself that aren't coming up: Lambada, Midnight Moon and Ryan C - Ryan C ended up turning into pure mush :(


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RE: Old House Gardens dahlias not growing

  • Posted by portia PA 6B, Brandywine (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 17:51

Hi, mine from OHG which did not grow were the Deuil du Roi and Surprise--still nothing and are slowly softening.

Also from Swan Island I got Innocence, Fuzzy Wuzzy and Brushstroke all which did nothing and now also are softening. I got the Swan Island ones in the clearance sale so I have no idea maybe they were leftovers with a lower success rate. I plan to email and see if I can get a credit for next replacements in spring or something.


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RE: Old House Gardens dahlias not growing

Funny, all the tubers I ordered from OHG are growing like gangbusters except Deuil du Roi! I was especially looking forward to it, but they did have some dahlia crop failures this year due to the harsh winter and I wonder if this cultivar was affected. I am not going to try to the baggie trick this late in the season, but I have requested a replacement for next spring, which they happily offered.


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RE: Old House Gardens dahlias not growing

As one who has bought from almost a dozen different vendors or stores over the years, it would NOT likely be the vendor, as Ted said. I have had tubers from at least 8 vendors where some grew and some didn't and ordered once from a grower and perhaps 60% that they sent never panned out.It's just part of the game with dahlias. Annoying, but not preventable.

I ordered a Hottie years ago that grew but never bloomed, the next year it hardly even grew but bloomed a couple of weak blooms, last year it was a dud before I dug up a 3x10 foot patch and put brand new soil and fertilizer in it and replanted the tubers. All did spectacular this year except Hottie. I finally tried to dig up the tuber and it had vanished! (Couldn't stand the good soil I guess)

All to say you pay your money and take your chances. But I wouldn't put the blame on Old House - there is no benefit for a grower to knowingly send duds out or risk getting a rep for bad tubers.


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RE: Old House Gardens dahlias not growing

  • Posted by portia PA 6B, Brandywine (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 25, 14 at 7:18

Yup I will def try again next year with OHG. I really want to see Deuil so fingers crossed next year is better luck!


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