This year I am really fussing with my dahlias. Before, it was just plant, water, stake if they fell over, dig after frost. Pure and simple. This year, I have turned into a fanatic. I potted them up and, of course, transplanted them to the garden. Now comes the questions. Some are shooting up but most are mounding 6"-12" from the ground and getting buds. DH says I mixed them up with the border dahlias. Not! . I think I should trim off the bottom leaves. Yes? Also, some are sending up two or three stocks. Should I remove all but one? Any suggestions would be helpful.
Also, I planted one that had a bud coming from the stem, not the tuber. It is about 18" high (staked) but still has a very small (1/4") stock and I bet it will never amount to anything and should be replaced. Am I right?
One more question. What are the border dahlias called? The kind you buy by the flat and are considered an annual by most people. They grow approximately 12" high.
I do just the opposite with my dahlias because I don't want to stake them. When they are about 8 inches or so tall I pinch the tip out and encourage the side growth. They have more flowers but not necessarily as big.
If you want exhibition type flowers you are suppose to put all the energy into one main stalk and one flower.
I'm just not into that. I figure the bushier the better.
I was so tired of the staking that I just put in rebar and used a mallet to drive them deeply into the earth so they'll be there permanently. Now I just have to find a way to keep the telephone cord and scissors out by the dahlias, in some obscure fashion, so I can tie them up as needed.
I don't do holly hocks, delpiniums, or anything else tall like that that needs staking. They break off from the wind. But, I have discovered a way to use dahlias in containers because they have finally come out with short ones. I even have them in my deck railing plantings. I pinch them. LOL, we'll see. I will post pictures later when they bloom. If they bloom.
Every year I rip out self-seeded hollyhocks mainly because they get rust. I didn't catch them in time this year and now they're 5' tall...the deer did find them and believe me, they wouldn't win any photographic awards. The deer even ate the leaves leaving this ugly stalk. It's one of those jobs on my eternal "to do" list.
I've had a dahlia, staked with rebar, hit by the wind and broken off at ground level. I guess there is no way to be 100% sure of success when staking them. Delphiniums are so beautiful that it is worth the time for me but they require tying to the stakes many times. I do love how they match the Japanese iris here in this photo.
While staking isn't one of the great joys of gardening it is sometimes necessary.
I'm using quite a few lower ones this year and hope they'll be happy and full of flowers. If they could just thrill me as much as the 5' tall plants it would be grand.
Beautiful pirl!!! I was obsessed with blue for quite a while, so those just make me drool. Delphiniums are breathtaking. The Iris are, too, but something about the spiking flowers that always get me. I won't even try growing the Delph. here. I pondered getting Iris this year, but never did. That's it! Next year I'm getting some. Dumb question-do they bloom the first year from bulbs?
I was looking into the Louisiana Irises, because of that reason. But, I didn't get them because I didn't feel like investigating into them just yet. So, come winter, when I do nothing but read about this flower and that, I will read up on them. They aren't (in my opinion) as beautiful as the standard cooler zone varieties, but, such is life.
I've had pretty good success with getting Reblooming Bearded Iris to bloom down here in Ft Lauderdale. Only the reblooming varieties have worked for me. I have a feeling they are less dependent on the need for winter dormancy. The key is to have them in part sun only and to have them in excellent draining soil. Planting them slighly elevated on a mound also helps with drainage. Rhizome rot is the number one problem in tropical Florida, so anything you can do to get the soil to drain better is a big plus. The best performers for me have been "Pink Attraction", "Clarence" and "Immortality". Here's a photo of "Harvest Of Memories" blooming on May 25th. Haven't had any more blooms since then and most likely won't until October.