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I grew up loving wildflowers, their little blooms, their foliage, their purpose in life. They seemed to grow and bloom with absolutely no care or attention. I discovered quite early that none of that was true for my mother's prized dahlias. They had to be staked and tied and needed daily care. I wasn't very fond of a plant whose bloom was too heavy for the stalk it grew on.
May 24, 2014 7:46 AM CST
|I really love this article, Sharon!
Dahlias are always dear to our hearts for a special reason - my husband and I both grew up in Erfurt/Thüringen ( Germany) which is called the Blumenstadt/Flower Town and has always been known for its beautiful Dahlias. You will find them everywhere, in people's gardens, official parks, at shows. They grow simply beautiful there, no flopping over, they stay straight and behave! I don't ever remember Dahlias needing to be staked there.
Now Erfurt has a cooler climate, perhaps closer to that of Maine, USA and I always thought that was the reason.
I have tried many times to grow some in my garden here in NJ, but they just do what you report here, they get humongous and just flop over. I staked and the whole thing /Dahlia and stake flopped down. After years of trying I gave up.
Glad to know I was not the only one having trouble!
May 24, 2014 9:24 AM CST
Gone But Not Forgotten
It's great to know dahlias behave and grow easily where you grew up, I never thought about the climate making a difference in the strength of the stalk. It must have something to do with growth rate, the stalk gets stronger as it grows, maybe a longer growth period and a delayed bloom. I don't know but I can imagine the beauty of it all! Gorgeous dahlias standing tall with no obvious support. That just paints a beautiful picture!
After having written this article and with all the comments that came with it, I'm almost tempted to try again to grow them. It might be a little late to plant them, but we do have a long growing period, so I might just give it a try. I'll give them a little dappled sunlight and hope for the best, but I think I might keep some stakes handy.
Good to see you again, Ursula. Thanks for your Dahlia story.
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