Dahlias forum: My favorite dahlia is....

Views: 428, Replies: 17 » Jump to the end
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
frankrichards16
Apr 14, 2016 6:26 PM CST
So, if you had to pick one dahlia (just one), what would it be?

I know this is not an easy question. I have personally grown ~500 different varieties.

Let me start with my favorite, Dahlia 'Cornel' introduced by Geerlings in 1994. It's a very popular "show" dahlia and has been awarded the Stanley Johnson medal by the American Dahila Society. I do not know Stanley Johnson, but my fathers' middle name was Stanley, so that is a plus. More importantly, the breeders first name is Cor and his wifes name is Nel. How cool is that?


Thumb of 2016-04-15/frankrichards16/4e1dfa Thumb of 2016-04-15/frankrichards16/df309c

Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
Heucheras Charter ATP Member Birds Hummingbirder Hostas Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Rose1656
Apr 14, 2016 6:36 PM CST
I can see why that one would be your favorite. It's beautiful! I'm new to dahlias (first grew some last year), so I'd say my favorite would be any that bloom! I do have a lot to learn about these...
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
Apr 14, 2016 7:02 PM CST
It's lovely, Frank. In 2014 I gave it to my son-in-law, a graduate of Cornell, believing it had some connection with the school, then found out about the name!

Right now I'd say Tartan is my favorite but that could all change when the new ones bloom this year.


Thumb of 2016-04-15/pirl/c2adb6

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Apr 14, 2016 9:09 PM CST
I like your logic Frank. Hilarious! And Tartan, Arlene, is really gorgeous. So rich looking. I truly don't have a favorite. I love them all. But it is the end of a very long very tiring day so maybe I am not feeling inspired. I took two cuttings from Fabuki Red and White. I wanted to assure that I would have plants this year. This is the third summer since you sent it Arlene and I really do like it. I don't care for Kagone Fabuki as well although it is pretty. I will give it some thought and look at my pictures tomorrow.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
jmorth
Apr 14, 2016 9:44 PM CST
That's a real tough question. I think mine might be September Morn

I got it from Swan Island 8 years ago.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
mandolls
Apr 14, 2016 9:51 PM CST
I am not familiar with sept morn - but really like it !!

Last year my favorite was Skipley Bonanza. It grew about 8 ft tall, and bloomed regularly from mid July on.

Thumb of 2016-04-15/mandolls/85b3d3
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
LizinElizabeth
Apr 14, 2016 10:08 PM CST
8 ft tall, that must've been impressive! I'm looking forward to the blooms this summer so I can pick a favorite--every time I think "it can't get prettier than THIS one", I see another picture that's prettier. How do you stop collecting???!!!
Liz
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Apr 15, 2016 3:05 PM CST
Fortunately they don't last forever so we always have room for newer and 'prettier'. I cannot even imagine an 8' dahlia. I am 5'2" so I couldn't see the flowers unless I got a ladder. Rolling on the floor laughing

If Cafe' au Lait looked 'in person' as it does in pictures by the vendor that would be my favorite. I like the subtle colors and the water lily shaped ones. Oh and the collerettes.... ummmmm. Hilarious!
"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: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
mandolls
Apr 15, 2016 4:42 PM CST
I regularly have dahlias over 6 ft., I have always assumed its because I don't really have as much sun as they need (6-7 hours), it makes most of them taller and not as bushy. Luckily I am 6'2", so while I may have had to be on my tip toes to cut some of the top flowers on the Skipley B - no ladder was needed.

This will be my 3rd year with Cafe Au Lait, and I was pretty disappointed the first two years, not very many blooms, and the ones that did come were not spectacular - if it doesn't do better this year, I'll cull it from my garden.

This is a pic of my partner in the dahlias - he is 5'11"

Thumb of 2016-04-15/mandolls/28c8a6

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Apr 15, 2016 7:37 PM CST
Your garden is so lovely. I wish mine would grow so tall. I'm not sure about your theory as to why yours are so tall. Have you ever asked a vendor like say Swan Island what they think? If you are correct, I may start putting black poly over my plants to block our 7/24 summer sun. Hilarious!

I am so absolutely bummed. I bottom watered a few days ago and was so proud of myself rigging up the hose and auto-fertilizer. Then realized that I had all but floated my pots. The bottoms were dripping wet. I spent a good part of today repotting with barely moist soil to try to save them. They would have rotted for sure. Just about all of them. I know I have damaged their roots in the process but at least there is a chance I won't kill them all. You would think I would learn about over watering. Sad

I just received Swan Island's catalog and since I could easily look at all the blooms I think Gitts Perfection would be my choice. Well, darn. I went to their site to get a picture to post and the picture they show does not match the brochure. In the brochure the colors are vivid wine color with white tips. Online it is a rather nice but pale pink sort of version and one I would not necessarily purchase. I may look at some others just to see if they are also different from the brochure.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
[Last edited by Oberon46 - Apr 15, 2016 7:41 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1117440 (10)
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
Apr 15, 2016 7:53 PM CST
Gitts Perfection was the boring pink you saw, Mary. I gave it away this year.
Name: Marie
Brigham City, Utah (Zone 5b)
Cottage Gardener Dahlias Hibiscus Region: Utah
Image
MyRee
Apr 15, 2016 10:52 PM CST
Geof, Your garden is just beautiful. I love the tall dahlia's. I really like the Skipley Bonanza. I think I need one of those next year. All the dahlia's are just beautiful.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
frankrichards16
Apr 16, 2016 5:29 AM CST
@Oberon46

I believe that partial shade causes plants to go taller. Shade also changes the bloom time.

When growing dahlias for show, time of bloom is critical. For this reason, many growers use a shade cloth to "adjust" bloom time.

However, I have not shown dahlias and have not tried this.
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
mandolls
Apr 16, 2016 7:40 AM CST
I enjoy the height - but I have to be really vigilant with the staking and tiring up. Its part of my daily routine from July - September. Last year I bought 6 yds of a green jersey fabric (on sale) and cut it into 1/2" strips about 12" long to use as ties. I used at least 2/3 of it.

Shade can also help with color too. Quite a few dahlias will bleach out somewhat if they have to much hot sun. I would rather have more sun, but I can't cut down the neighbors trees, so I work with what I have and make the best of it. The lack of sun also tends to produce smaller blooms. I have never gotten those ginormous blooms that you see pictures of - but thats ok too, as I mostly grow for cut flowers, and the giants are difficult to use in a vase.

As for catalog pics............I always try to look at multiple pictures of anything I am buying. Both catalogs and many online pics have the color punched up, not to mention how some colors, purples especially, are difficult to capture. Red oranges too. I remember Skipley B as being more orange than any of the pics I see, including mine.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Apr 16, 2016 8:04 AM CST
Yes, it did seem that the purples and dark lavenders were more vibrant in the catalogs than on screen. And even then, if they were vibrant on screen, not so much 'in person.' I might try an experiment this summer. I have umbrellas I got from Crickett Hill to cover my larger peonies to protect them from rain and collapse. I could put one over a particularly vibrant dahlia (in pictures) and see if it perks it up in reality.
"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: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
LizinElizabeth
Apr 16, 2016 8:40 AM CST
That's a really good idea, Mary Stella! And if you use PVC pipe or something similar you could just drop the end of a straight umbrella down into the stake you use to keep the dahlia upright. That'd be really cool in my opinion! I might pick up a few cheap beach umbrellas, the smaller size sold at a lot of the discount stores, for some of my larger peonies for hail season. Might be too windy here though, might just be introducing a flying hazard into the community.....
Liz
Name: Connie
Winlock, WA (Zone 8a)
Need has nothing to do with it.
Image
CLC70
Apr 16, 2016 8:40 AM CST
I like going to the dahlias festivals and getting to see the dahlias in bloom. Seeing them in person is much better than making a choice from a catalog. Alas I can't tour every grower's fields. My order from SI came. Still have several to arrive. MY fav? Probably Bed Head. It got 6 foot tall but it had some shade so that may have been why. I've read that some incurving cactus will incurve more wildly with some shade so I am going to plant Snoho Storm at the edge of the shade this year and see how it goes. This year I'm obsessed with laciniated dahlias. Love them, can't get enough.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Apr 16, 2016 9:50 AM CST
My order from Swan Island arrived yesterday and was potted within two hours. I mostly ordered dwarfs and collerettes. Just love those little ones. I have lots of the bigger ones from last year and wanted to try some that would go around the edges.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Dahlias forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "Pacific Blue Ice"