Comment concerning Dahlias (Dahlia): Growing Dahlias .. Tenterfield NSW, Australia.

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As a comment about Dahlias (Dahlia), Marilyn wrote:

Taken from wikipedia's page at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahlia

"Dahlia is a genus of bushy, tuberous, herbaceous perennial plants native mainly in Mexico, but also Central America, and Colombia. A member of the Asteraceae or Compositae, dicotyledonous plants, related species include the sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum and zinnia. There are at least 36 species of dahlia, with hybrids commonly grown as garden plants.

Dahlias grow naturally in climates which do not experience frost (the tubers are hardy to USDA Zone 8), consequently they are not adapted to withstand sub-zero temperatures. However their tuberous nature enables them to survive periods of dormancy, and this characteristic means that gardeners in temperate climates with frosts can grow dahlias successfully, provided the tubers are lifted from the ground and stored in cool yet frost-free conditions during the winter. Planting the tubers quite deep (10 – 15 cm) also provides some protection. When in active growth, modern dahlia hybrids perform most successfully in well-watered yet free-draining soils, in situations receiving plenty of sunlight. Taller cultivars usually require some form of staking as they grow, and all garden dahlias need deadheading regularly, once flowering commences.

Slugs and snails are serious pests in some parts of the world, particularly in spring when new growth is emerging through the soil. Earwigs can also disfigure the blooms. The other main pests likely to be encountered are aphids (usually on young stems and immature flower buds), red spider mite (causing foliage mottling and discolouration, worse in hot and dry conditions) and capsid bugs (resulting in contortion and holes at growing tips). Diseases affecting dahlias include powdery mildew, grey mould (Botrytis cinerea), verticillium wilt, dahlia smut (Entyloma calendulae f. dahliae), phytophthora and some plant viruses. Dahlias are a source of food for the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Angle Shades, Common Swift, Ghost Moth and Large Yellow Underwing."

Name: Dianne Larsen
Tenterfield NSW Australia

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FleudeLisCanna
Dec 28, 2014 12:40 AM CST
'DAHLIAS!' .. I said (in internal horror) rather too loudly upon opening the large hessian bags my g'friend had just given me, while trying desperately trying to look pleased, chuffed & heart-warmingly happy!

You know those times when you have 'moments flash before your eyes'? Well, I'd just had one .. of every yard & garden or park etc that I had seen in my (then) 50 odd yrs of life, with staked dahlias & images of all the work that went into them JUST to have them. They were the LAST plant I ever wanted to grow ..

But a compulsive gardener (that I am) can't say 'no' to a mystery 2 bags of mixed plants when a g'friend turns up with them, can they? She never said a word of what was in the bags & I didn't ask when she asked if I wanted them. I just ASSUMED they'd be cannas, as we both had become addicted to them.

Well, my hubby & I have 1/2 an acre here & we had just started planting out & tidying 'the paddock', where 3 horses had been kept previously, with all manner of eucalypts & under storey plants. It seemed a good idea to stick the dahlia tubers along the 2 sides of the fenceline, with the thought that the fence would hold them up .. I was NOT going to stick sticks everywhere & do all that work!

Now, some 5 plus yrs later, they are STILL planted where I first put them .. never raised for Winter (we get temps. as low as -10'c with frosts that get your fingers stuck to metal if you don't wear gloves) & all I do is mulch over them with their own 'spent' growth & some extra home-made compost & the leaves etc that fall from the eucalypts & wattles.
The only thing I did for them, when first planted, was to plant them in slightly raised areas of soil so any excess rainwater ran off easily & plant them not too far off the wire fencing so they could stick their own arms out & hang on.

The only thing I do for them while they are growing is to look at them, take photos of them, pick a few for vases & give some away, kick a bit of garden stuff over them when I notice the tubers getting too big for their boots & escaping from under the soil or remove some tubers that are sticking out & share them.

The only thing I do for them after they've finished is to cover them with their own dead bodies & tidy up their little graves (that's what my hubby says they look like!) with a little more humus from the surrounding garden areas .. and wait for the next Summer to start all this work again! Rolling on the floor laughing

Footnote: Ok, I'll confess *Blush* .. I have come to enjoy & appreciate them! I have found that they will easily grow from seeds (if the conditions here being optimal for rain, as I don't water 'the paddock') & I have transplanted some tubers to another garden closer to the house.
There are 'new' varieties popping up in 'the paddock' this year I see .. and some from last year in the closer gardens (they get watered) have this year produced their own 'new' flowers! Enjoy the pics! #3 is an arrangement of my donated flowers to a local Church for Easter this year. Group hug
Thumb of 2014-12-28/FleudeLisCanna/416bc7

Thumb of 2014-12-28/FleudeLisCanna/18edec

Thumb of 2014-12-28/FleudeLisCanna/eae68f



Thumb of 2014-12-28/FleudeLisCanna/75df7e

Well, there's a few .. who wants to see more? Shrug!
'The World, left alone, works by Itself'

http://www.youtube.com/user/NoDraMuzz
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Dec 28, 2014 5:44 PM CST
Hi Dianne,

Welcome to ATP! Welcome! Welcome!

Nice looking flowers and beautiful arrangement! Thumbs up

Glad you've had success with them. I've only grown the very short ones to add to a container during summer a couple of times.

There is a dahlia forum here at ATP http://garden.org/forums/view/dahlias/ I didn't know if you had found it yet.

Marilyn
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Dianne Larsen
Tenterfield NSW Australia

Lilies Butterflies Sedums Foliage Fan Frogs and Toads Composter
Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Container Gardener Garden Art Bee Lover Dragonflies
Image
FleudeLisCanna
Dec 28, 2014 8:54 PM CST
Hi, Marilyn!

Thank You! for a great Welcome! , much appreciated!

I've been feeling my way around the site .. took a break from the Canna pages & found the Dahlias .. hence my post. Gardening is a bit of an obscession for me .. start with one of something, end up with a 'collection' .. that's how my Cannas started, the dahlias, the iris, OHV cottage garden plants ..oh, the list is never ending! My hubby should send me for a lobotamy .. or long sessions of therapy at least!

There are more pics of dahlias I can post, most are unknown names but I do have some I purchased (yes, it got THAT bad! Rolling on the floor laughing ) with names.

Well, I'm off to add to the canna page ..
Cheers, Dianne.

ps. the 1st dahlias that flowered after escaping from the hession bags .. here you can see them holding up the boundary fence. A vivid red, can be seen from the laneway. The fence idea was a good one .. some kids pinch them & other people have even offerred to pay for some .. I just 'share' them. I tip my hat to you.
Thumb of 2014-12-29/FleudeLisCanna/d678bf
'The World, left alone, works by Itself'

http://www.youtube.com/user/NoDraMuzz
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
Image
Marilyn
Dec 28, 2014 11:12 PM CST
Nice red that stands out from a distance! Thumbs up
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


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