Dahlia Update, long overdue

Remember way back when, when I ranted in a post about my disappointment in the Swan Island dahlias I ordered? If not, you can see it here! Well, it’s now December, and time to reflect on last year’s successes and failures. The BIGGEST disappointment was definitely the Swan Island dahlias. I waited all season for the first flower on a Swan Island dahlia, and never a one appeared!!! In fact, by frost, only two plants were still alive. Thankfully, the dahlias from Brent & Becky’s that grew beautifully last year, were stored in the basement over winter, and were replanted late spring are bloomed well and filled in the potager’s interior border. That’s one of them above. Here’s another one called “Sylvia,” which produced bouquet after bouquet of perfect flowers all season.

Dahlia “Sylvia” from Brent & Becky’s bulbs…I wish they had more offerings in my color scheme!
Dahlia “Sunny Reggae” from seed!

And just in case, you might suspect that I don’t really know what I’m doing and thus the Swan Island fiasco, here’s a dahlia flower that I started from seed in February, blooming well, as did all its kin. If a dahlia from seed blooms, shouldn’t an expensive tuber?

I’ve dug all the live tubers, cleaned them and stored them in a bucket in the basement. In February, I’ll divide them and plant them in individual pots and keep them in a bright location indoors until the weather permits moving them outdoors to harden off. Once danger of frost has passed, they’ll go back into the gardens to provide lots of bloom for the 2020 season. Meantime, I’ll be searching for another supplier with more “apricot-toned” and orange dahlias and hopefully get better results. Any suggestions?


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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