Dahlia fail?

BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)June 30, 2013

I tried a dahlia in a huge (7 gallon) pot this year. It's a mid sized Dahlia, thought I can't remember the name. I'm getting lots of foliage (although it seems small to me?), but no buds yet.

I've carefully watered and amended the soil with compost manure when I planted. The pot has excellent drainage. We have had a rather damp season, but I do move it under the covered portion of the patio if I think it's getting too much rain. Then right back out into full sun. Typically gets 8+ hours per day.

I did plant it sideways as I was unsure which way was up (read that advice here). Gladiolus in the neighboring pot are doing wonderfully under the same condition- just budding this week.


Thank you!

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BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)

FYI that pot is about eighteen inches wide. The foliage is approximately six inches wide and four inches tall.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 10:56PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I'm not sure about varieties, etc., but my dahlias that I plant as tubers (as opposed to buying potted and growing from the garden center, which are usually smaller) always bloom quite late, often just starting at the end of August or later. I had one gorgeous one that didn't bloom till October. My experience is limited, but that late blooming seems to be the norm for every dahlia I've ever planted.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 10:59PM
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BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)

That's encouraging! Thank you! They're so beautiful, I hated to think that I had messed it up!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 11:01PM
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sara82lee(8a - SE Va)

I planted some dahlia tubers this year as well. Quite a few, and I put them in the ground. I have one that's been blooming for a month now, most of the rest for a week or two, but a few have just barely peaked out of the ground. And they all have pretty much equivalent conditions. Their timing seems to be all over the place. Your little plant looks healthy, so I'd think it was just fine considering what I've learned this year about how they seem to grow whenever they decide the time is right.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 11:29PM
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sara82lee(8a - SE Va)


This post was edited by sara82lee on Mon, Jul 1, 13 at 5:54

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 5:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I wonder if we've had enough sun for a Dahlia? It has been hot enough, but I thought Dahlias liked a lot of sun and heat?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 8:47AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont recall where you are ... if you could add a large city next to Z5 next to your name.. it would help ... [on your members page.. hit your highlighted name]

in my z5 MI ... its been a rather cool summer so far.. many things are behind ....

and i think of dahlia... as a high heat plant...

it wants very warm soil ... and warn days.. and warm nights .... and it really hasnt been like that consistently here in MI ... plus full blinding sun.. in mother earth ...

so .. this far.. all that has failed is your expectations... add a dose of patience.. and you should be all set ...


    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 9:16AM
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BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)

Hi guys. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm in NE Ohio. Pretty similar weather to lower Michigan. I am not on the lake, but about an hour and a half south, close to the PA border.

I will keep you posted.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 9:39AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

Unless you've had a really cool summer so far, those do look smallish. I purchased a couple tubers on sale the end of May. They looked terrible since they had been in those bags for way too long and I was preparing myself for a complete failure. To my surprise, they grew like crazy and are around 2 feet tall right now.

Maybe yours had too much water early on which partially rotted the tubers? I'm not sure, but I think they should be larger by now. Who knows for sure. At least they're alive which is a big plus.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 9:50AM
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BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)

Hi Kevin- we have had a particularly cool summer. My tomatoes are all still green (which is rare for early July). Unfortunately it doesn't look like the weather is going to change anytime soon. I guess we'll see what happens!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 11:35AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

We've had an absence of sun and 12 inches of rain in June and even my tomato and pepper plants are stalled and not growing much at all. So it would not surprise me that Dahlias are behind because they like similar conditions I thought.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Mmmm, dahlias - nothing much doing here, but to be expected, especially after this cool delayed spring. Tbf, one of them does have a puny bud, but I am going to whip that off because the plant still needs to bulk up. I lost half a dozen but, those which have come through (I leave them in the ground over winter) have enormous tubers with many growth buds. They vary between30-50cm high but would expect them to double that and flower some time in early August. Tomatos (yep, they seem to run in tandem) are fattening up and a few of them even have tiny little green tomatoes on the lowest tress (especially the cherry types). The earliest tomato in the UK is ready by the 2nd week in July (although that would be a potato leaf early)along with a couple of waterlily dahlias (Arabian Knight. various 'Bishops'). We are between 3-4 weeks behind.
I wouldn't be worried by yours Bluebird - they are the sort of plants which grow in 'surges' (sweet peas are another). Yours look healthy and ready to take off - plenty of time yet. Don't be stingy with the fertilizer. For me, August is a blur of feeding, watering, deadheading and tying in, trudging remorselessly between the tomatoes, dahlias and beans and sweet peas - I am usually quite OK with the first killer frosts because I am knackered.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 5:00PM
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