Our annual end-of-summer contest is here, come on down to the Dave's Garden County Fair!

Just ordered:

Brigham City, UT(Zone 5b)

I just ordered from Alpha Dahlia's.
Red hat; Tijuana; Sonic Bloom; Victoria Ann; Who Dun It; Tropic Sun; Fuzzy Wuzzy; Lover Boy; Canby Centennial; Duet; Spartacus; Vassio Meggos; Wyn's Sleepyhead. Oh, I just can't wait.
I have started some tubers for cutting startings. I have a few showing some growth. Spring will be here before we know it.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I ordered Fuzzy Wuzzy also. I have tubers from last year sending shoots. I only put two in the dirt, the rest still being in their saran wrap. They will all be sprouting soon.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

That Vassio Meggos was a big and beautiful one for me a few years ago.

I finally spritzed mine. They aren't in Saran Wrap. I'm hoping to see some sign of life but it would be easier to spot if I turned on the lights downstairs!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

uh, yup!! Light helps. lol

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

See that! We think the same way. If I turned on the lights and saw sprouts I'd start getting much too crazed so the lights will have to stay off for another month.

Athens, PA

I need to spritz mine - I am hoping to get to them this weekend. If it is nice out though, I may be tempted to work outside instead....

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I did that yesterday. My friend offered irises I've loved in her garden for many years. While I dug them she dug phlox for me. It was a win/win day.

Brigham City, UT(Zone 5b)

I went on to so many of the dahlia sites. I had no idea that there were so many. I saw one named Della, a big beautiful soft orange dahlia. I would have bought it for sure but they were sold out. My mother's name is Della, she is 90 years old and the sweetest person anyone could meet. I would love to take a flower to her that has her name.
How often do you spritz your dahlia's? I have mine in my dark furnace room. It has an inlet of outside air so it stays about 58 degrees. I have my begonia tubers there also. I hope they are having a good rest so they can bloom away this summer. When do you generally bring yours out of the cool?
Most all of the dahlia tubers that I have came from planting them from seed last year. I had some beauties. Hopefully my yard will be full of them this year.
I am planning on taking many more pictures this year and posting them. I am looking forward to landscaping the house next door that we bought last year.
Happy Planning. Marie

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Why not bring your mother the most beautiful dahlia you see growing and tell her the name is Della? She'd be thrilled and no one with a heart would dare tell her otherwise. It would make her day! I grew Long Island Lil for a few years and how I wish my mom, Lillian, were alive to give her a bouquet of them.

I spritz with a water bottle.

My dahlias are in the basement around 65 while my begonias are on the indoor porch at 70 but it has no heat. The warmth it gets is from the sun coming through the five huge windows and glass door.

Sounds like you'll have a great time planning!

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Here's a thread, by Tabasco, about gardens, flowers and color echoes: great fun for planning -


Mountain View, HI

I just wanted to say how interesting it is to read progress reports from cold parts of the country. We just had Dahlia tubers arrive in our Walmart store here in Hawaii so I purchased six dinner plate tubers. Our temps are running 60f at night and close to 80f during the day. Tubers are in pots and after one week I can see green shoots just breaking the surface. Not sure how they will progress here but I know my dad had amazing Dahlias when I was growing up in England. Being a garden fanatic I thought I would give it a try.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Enjoy them, as I'm sure you will. In the past I've bought from HD and had no complaints at all.

Northern Michigan, MI(Zone 5a)

I ordered today from Swan Island. I was good, only 3 total. Bodacious, Emory Paul and Maniac

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I hope you will love Bodacious as much as I did. It was difficult to take a photo without seeing visiting bees who loved it, too.

The second photo is before it opens.

I felt it was exquisite.

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Athens, PA


It is gorgeous! I love the bees as well.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Carolyn. It was such fun watching the bees enjoying the pollen. I do love that dahlia.

Have you been spraying your dahlias? I've only done it once so far.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Did you notice all that pollen on the bee. I can just see jars of honey on someone's shelf. Wish it were mine. D won't let me have a hive in the yard. Laura (DD) wants to try one there. Just think of all those flowers creating the most lucious honey.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Just look at the bee's face, MC! It is filled with pollen. That bee shouldn't gather pollen and drive.

Hives always seemed so interesting to me but I don't have the courage to try it. Martha Stewart did it so I bet Laura can as well.

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Athens, PA

I did see where the bee went head first into the pollen - he is kind of driving while drunk isnt' he? So cute!

Arlene - I did spray mine today. I checked my log and the time before was January 1st. I was going to do them earlier this month, but ended up with the crud that seems to be making the rounds. I was pleased at how nice my tubers look!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Hope you're feeling better Carolyn. Not time to be getting under the weather --- planting time is here (at least for you) I think?

Athens, PA

Mary -

Thank you - yes, I am feeling better, but it does seem to take some time to get my stamina back. I keep falling asleep on the couch by 6 pm. Frustrating - it would be nice to stay awake!

Right now, the extent of my planting time is wintersowing - I am anxious for Spring though and I was thinking that perhaps I would have one more round of spraying my dahlia tubers before I would be able to put them in.

Marie - I too placed an order with Swan Island - It was hard to resist temptation. They are to be delivered in April. I ordered:

Emory Paul
Jordan Nicole
Myrtle's Folly
Nadine Jessie
Victoria Ann

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Glad to hear you're feeling better, Carolyn.

I had Victoria Ann for a few years and absolutely loved it.

Athens, PA

Arlene -

Thank you. I saw Victoria Ann on one of the other threads on which I participate. When I saw it, I had to add it to my list.

I put in a new bed in the front last year with a color theme of yellow, purple and silver. I am thinking of putting Victoria Ann in that bed. Her colors will go nicely with my color theme.

Brigham City, UT(Zone 5b)

I am so excited for my tubers. After reading the added remarks, I had to go to my first and see again what I ordered. I am excited that I ordered Victoria Ann but was kind of bummed that I did not order Bodacious. I had some seeds left over from last year so I have planted them and have cute little starts. I have most of the tubers saved from last years planting from seed. So many were just georgeous! I do have one, I hope is still good, that looks much like Bodacious.

I am planning on taking pictures of each plants flowers to put with the tuber when I save it this fall. I have been to some gardens that have a dahlia display and have loved it. I would like to do that for my friends.
I have many that walk past my yard and stop to see the beauty and occasionally talk about the flowers. That just thrills me to be able to share the talent I have been given.

Pril, All your flowers are such an inspiration to me. I love your comments on this thread and many others. Also, Carolyn, I see and read yours. I kind of sit back and enjoy others comments, but I hope to be adding more. I love to see the comments from everyone, they certainly help me be a better gardener and appreciate the tallents of others.

Glad you are feeling better Carolyn. I also have had some health problems starting in November with a ruptured Appendics that kept me down for a while, then just when I got back to work, the dreaded stomach flu then the COLD which I am glad is pretty much gone. I see so many comments on the threads of Illness and so many thoughts and wishes of improved health. This is really just a big family of gardners that have a special spirit. That is what I see in gardening - a special spirit.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Hmmm. If you plant dahlias from seed, do you get a tuber? I never tried dahlias from seed because I figured I would never get any flowers. Our season is short, although I could start them inside just about any time. Only problem is they get so spindly without sufficient light if I start them too soon. Have two doing that right now. They insisted they had to grow, so I brought them in from the garage stash and put them in dirt. I set up the garage greenhouse the first of March. Almost there. Maybe I should just take cutting and propagate them, but I really wanted to just have tubers. Plus I have about ninety bazillion of the Hockley Maroon and Kaiser Wilhelm heirlooms and have ordered several new dahlias from Swan Island to get some variety. I had two from Corralitos that grew huge, 4" x 4' bushes with 10 inch flowers. But the tubers that they developed (they were propagated) didn't survive the winter - rotted.

Another Spirit Gardener of the North

Athens, PA


You can propogate the dahlia tubers by taking cuttings. http://www.dahlias.net/dahwebpg/Propagation/Cuttings.htm

I have not tried this myself, but have read this article several times -

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Oh, I have done it several times. It's just that as a result I have many of the same dahlia. I guess I was just saying that rather than produce a spindly light starved plant, I should just take cuttings as they grow and dip them in growth hormone and then plant them. They do quite well and I have the cups to plant them in (with holes) plus the clear tops. It's just that I have other tubers that are the same types but haven't started to grow yet so I know I will still have many of both types. And that was after sending several many to other people last fall. I would like to progagate the new ones I get but the propagated ones don't always produce good tubers. None are copyrighted so should be no problem.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Marie. It's just so easy to love dahlias.

They do grow tubers if you plant seeds, MC, and my plants from Corralitos always developed tubers just the same as growing tubers from the start. I blame all my losses on myself. Since a tuber will produce more growth even if the stem is removed, why not test out the theory on one of your growing cuttings? It likely has formed tiny tuber like structures already and you'd have nothing to lose by trying. It should end up a stockier plant.

Carolyn - I always find it amusing that we keep instructions and then just don't get around to trying it. I'm finally going to try air layering of Japanese maple sprouts thanks to the encouragement of my west coast gardening buddy. Last November I half-heartedly followed directions (sort of) for growing Crape Myrtles from cuttings of suckers. What a shock to see them growing in my little indoor mini greenhouse yesterday!

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Brigham City, UT(Zone 5b)

Yes. All my dahlias that I planted from seed produced tubers that I dug up last fall. I have planted some of the tubers and they are doing fantastic. I got the seed from Swallowtail seed company. They are called Mixed Giant Dahlias I believe. They come up very well and produce beautiful flowers, 4" to 6" or bigger and the plants were 2' - 3' tall. You really never know what color you are going to get, always a pleasant surprise. I expect they will be a little bigger this year.

I just cut and planted some starts from some that I have growing. They don't look the best, but I only planted them 3 days ago. I guess I will find out if I want to continue to do this.

I have a wonderful gardening friend that has a "Real Yard Sale" If you look up her website "Secritsgardens" you will see what she does. She buys flats of plugs of various perennials and some annuals that she pots up into 4" and 1 gallon pots and sells. I helped her plant last week. I was wearing rubber gloves, since I am a nurse my fingernails have to be very clean, and she asked me to take the gloves off. She said I have a great spirit that transfers to the plants and gives them energy. I gladly took the gloves off and proceded to transfer energy to the plants - all the while getting my hands and fingernails almost black. I loved it. Good thing there are nail scrubbers.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I grew many last year from seed my husband planted and they were fabulous. Mostly I garden by color so they all had to go into one area where colors couldn't conflict with already established plantings but I was very pleased and the one I didn't like at all was the favorite of my daughter so she'll have it this year for her own garden.

It is fun to plant new babies and watch them grow. A little bleach in warm sudsy water, along with that nail brush, works magic.

Brigham City, UT(Zone 5b)

Pril, Those look fantastic. I love Crape Myrtle, I bought one that was suppose to be hardy in my zone but it winter killed. I wish there was on for zone 5b.
I have some hardy hibiscus that I love. The color is deep pink with a maroon center. I am going to try to propigate that plant by cuttings this year.
I also have read the threads several time.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Marie - try the Crape Myrtles with Native American names. They are supposed to be best for the lower zones. I have Powhatan (in addition to the ones I rooted from another cultivar) and it is superb. Next I'll try growing the Powhatan seeds, knowing it won't be the same as the mother plant but I'll be happy with whatever I get.

Brigham City, UT(Zone 5b)

Thanks Pril for the advice. I am going to be landscaping the yard next door. We bought the little house for a rental and I gutted the yard. (I have coveted the yard for years). I have an empty slate. The very back will be fruit trees and a garden but the front and side will be a palet of colors and shapes. That is where I will plant my dahlia garden.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Sounds good, Marie. I can't imagine how you have time for nursing, gardening and the usual work we all do, no less all the required pruning and spraying of fruit trees. My hats off to you but since I'm ready for bed my hat is off anyhow!

Good luck with your plans.

Brigham City, UT(Zone 5b)

Thanks Pril. I do keep busy. Good Night and Sweet Dreams.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Marie. I really do wish you the best. It's a lot of work but it's all worth it.

Sweet dreams to all.

Brigham City, UT(Zone 5b)

I just got notification that my dahlias are being shipped this week. Now, I think that I know how to start them, and I have a few that I started 3-4 weeks ago that are doing well although I did have a few that rotted. I don't know if they were good to begin with. I plan on starting the new ones in gallon pots.
Any advise?????? How Moist??????

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Use barely moist soil-less mix and plant the dahlias. Do not water again until you see sprouts. Have fun!

Brigham City, UT(Zone 5b)

Thanks, You are always so helpful to all here. I am so excited to get them going.

Athens, PA


who did you order your dalhias from? I ordered mine from Swan Island and I am hoping they are not shipped before mid April.

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