Dahlia Days Begin Now by Lew Whitney

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Dahlia Days Begin Now by Lew Whitney

For summer flowers, there is nothing better than the Dahlia family. Now that June is ending and July is beginning, it is not too late to include Dahlias in your garden, both in the ground and in pots. Roger’s receives weekly shipments of fully grown Dahlias in bud and bloom for an instant splash of color and a constant source of cut flowers.

I first fell in love with Dahlias in the early 70s. While traveling in Europe, I stumbled upon , on the shores of the Danube, a 20 foot wooden sky blue skiff that some creative gardener had filled with Dahlias. The huge flowers   in a riot of colors against the blue of the skiff and the dark   river water branded a picture in my memory that I will never forget.

Dahlias produce more flowers, in more sizes, shapes and colors, per dollar spent than any other plant I know. Additionally, the tubers can be removed in the fall and stored until next March at which time they can be divided and replanted. Yes, the tubers multiply prolifically so you can have more plants for yourself or to  share with friends.

As they grow, Dahlias may need some staking for support. Bamboo stakes are inexpensive and reliable. Dahlias will benefit from regular feeding to keep them blooming.  I recommend Rogers Flower Food, an easy to apply water soluble especially designed for blooming plants. Like most flowering plants, the more you cut, the more they bloom.

Here are some of my favorites:

Thomas Edison Dahlia

Lavender Perfection

Kelvin Floodlight

Babylon Pink

By |2012-04-02T22:21:03+00:00April 2nd, 2012|Floral, Gardening, Inspiration|2 Comments

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  1. Mary Donovan August 27, 2012 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    I don’t dig up my dahlia’s unless I am dividing them to share. I have left the same dahlia’s in the same spot for up to 8 years here in Newport Beach – Thomas Edison, Duet, Bitsy, China Doll. Don’t make more work than you have to!

    • lew whitney August 28, 2012 at 3:25 pm - Reply

      Dear Mary,
      First of all, thank you for reading my blog and for taking the time to respond.

      My guess is that you are blessed with nice, sandy soil that drains well. In this case, assuming that you have no need t plant in your dahlia zone, you are correct…..your dahlia tubers will survive from year to year in the ground.

      In other situations, my house, for instance, where the soil is the very definition of adobe……as in build houses…..
      the tubers would rot in the dense, damp soil.

      In point of fact, dahlia nut that I am, I grow my dahlias in big pots, 27 of them this summer, and then remove the tubers to make room for other plantings in the same pots.
      If I were to not replant the pots seasonally, I could simply turn the pots on their sides or cover them and allow the tubers to sleep all winter……..I follow this procedure with my pots of tuberous begonias.

      Early next spring when we have tubers for sale at Rogers, i urge you to add Cafe au Lait to your collection.

      Lew Whitney

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