Dahlias forum: Do you plant dahlia varieties in multiple numbers?

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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Mar 4, 2015 12:25 PM CST
Recently I've read on a few dahlia sites that planting 3 or 6 of a specific cultivar gives greater impact, and I'm sure it does, but space is one consideration, wanting more variety is another and the thought of lifting 200, 400 or 600 dahlias in fall is mind-boggling to me. I enjoy having a wider variety and have learned to shun the companies that only offer three of a kind (or more) for sale when all I want is one each. Am I alone or do others agree?
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Last year I ended up with three Giraffe that were all orange, no stripes, and three Mystery Day (instead of Seduction) so they're supposedly sending correct plants this year. There is no charge but now I'm concerned they may also be mislabeled or not true. I may start them indoors, under lights, and hope to get a bloom from each to put my mind at ease.

Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Mar 4, 2015 12:35 PM CST
A few of my dahlias are not the same from year to year, even though I'm sure I mark them correctly. I think they just mutate.

I have heard to plant two or three tubers together. I have not done it. I too have space issues. Only to get worse as I am getting many many new tubers this year. Heh heh, there goes another chunk of lawn!
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Mar 4, 2015 1:07 PM CST
Every year I buy some new ones, keep the old favorites, give some to my daughter and a neighbor, but I can enjoy the new ones without having so many duplicates. I'm also certain that some do change, Jennifer. It's okay with me unless they were to go from yellow to dark pink. I like them to match their neighbors. Just my quirk but it's a good way to spend the snowy winter hours.
central Illinois
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jmorth
Mar 4, 2015 1:33 PM CST
Room here is quite limited to use more than 1 cultivar at a time, though I'm agreed several of the same could present an impressive vista, especially those about waist high that grow densely longitudinal as much. (ex - Happy Single Party). One year I grew 4 different cultivars of the taller varieties in the same area, that fall they were super impressive.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Mar 4, 2015 1:45 PM CST
Due to cabin fever I bought two packages of dahlias from Home Depot and only noticed later that they had more than one set of tubers per package so I just might plant them so they grow together, keeping varieties apart. This could lead to additional shopping.
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Mar 4, 2015 2:21 PM CST
I know of several people that plant at least 2-3 of each variety - about 9" apart, and then an 18" spacing between those and the next variety. It may not be the best way to plant if growing for shows, but if growing primarily for cut flowers and/or garden wow, it makes sense to me. I often only have 2-4 blooms at a time from a plant, so doubling them up should make for a more impressive display.

I plan on trying it with at least some of mine this coming year.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Mar 4, 2015 2:48 PM CST
Very interesting, Geof. I'll give it a try.

Why do your dahlias only give you 2 to 4 blooms at a time? I get 25 to 100 at a time without any feeding other than the food it gets when it's planted.
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
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Oberon46
Mar 4, 2015 5:45 PM CST
I really think it is the variety of plant. I have some, like yours Arlene, that are just full of blooms, then others (usually larger blooms) that only put out one or two at a time. But they are usually the 10-11 inch sizes (bloom that is.)
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Mar 4, 2015 6:40 PM CST
You're probably right on target, Mary, and I never even thought of the AA blooms because I grow so few of them.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Mar 4, 2015 7:14 PM CST
Sarah Raven shows so many nice dahlia possibilities for planting combinations here:
http://www.sarahraven.com/flowers/bulbs/dahlias/orange_dahli...
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Mar 4, 2015 7:57 PM CST
I am not successful with Dahlias, but I saw Dahlia's at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco one time we visited there in 2010..truly eye catching multiple varieties of Dahlias grouped together: I wish I can grow them nicely too in my area Sighing!


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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Mar 4, 2015 8:09 PM CST
Lovely photos, Tarev, though I wonder how they get in there to deadhead. The great explosions of color is heavenly.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Mar 4, 2015 8:28 PM CST
I guess they have a dedicated group of volunteers to help them out. Smiling
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Mar 4, 2015 8:43 PM CST
See! That's all I need to make it an easy summer and fall. Problems solved!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Mar 4, 2015 9:17 PM CST
Indeed! Hilarious! Hilarious!
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Mar 5, 2015 6:16 AM CST
Nice to see images of plants full of blooms!

@pirl - I don't have optimum sun in my yard. I only get 6-7 hours, so I have taller than usual plants with fewer flowers - it doesn't stop me from growing them, they are still stunning. And yes I grow a lot of larger ones too, so that makes a difference, but even the 2-3" blooms I rarely have more than 6 blooms at a time.

The trees that shade my yard are in my neighbor's yard - so not much I can do about it.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Mar 5, 2015 9:38 AM CST
The lack of sun is a problem, Geof, so now I understand why you don't get as many blooms as possible. I'd have thought that 6 to 7 hours would be enough but you have the experience.

I agree, not much you can do about the neighbor's tree.

As I went to sleep I heard the rain and heard it again during the night, so I figured we miraculously avoided the snow: wrong! When I opened the shade I was more than disappointed to see the snow falling and it's due to continue all day long.
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
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Oberon46
Mar 5, 2015 3:25 PM CST
Like your bay window Arlene. Such a great place for plants. And your outdoors view is well, snowy. We are melting away up here with almost 40F. Sun is shining. I have started 'walking the yard' even though the ground is still mostly covered by a thin skim but by fences and rock the plants are coming out. Especially my primroses up next to the house. I planted a tree peony last fall and about 5" of it is above ground with a few small red pips.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Mar 5, 2015 3:41 PM CST
Thanks, Mary.

The only thing colorful is in the dog's pen!

Not a blade of grass to be seen no less the sign of any plants.
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Mar 5, 2015 7:13 PM CST
I have a big southern window full of plants too - it does help "soften" that snow view doesn't it?

Pirl - I also do quite a bit of disbudding on my plants, because I cut most of them to bring inside - If I didn't disbud I suppose it would triple the amount of blooms I get. For the doubles that I plant this year, I plan on only disbudding one of the plants and letting the other go to town.

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