Celebrating Dahlias!

Welcome to the Member Ideas area! This community feature is where our members can post their own ideas. These posts are unedited and not necessarily endorsed by the National Gardening Association.
Posted by @dave on
We open the Dahlias Celebration Week with a look at the top cultivars, top comments, most thumbed images, and more!

Share your photos this week, and keep watch on the photos that get shared by others. Give thumbs to the ones you like, and participate in our Dahlias forum. At the end of the week, I'll give a report of the best images and the most active members. Each member featured in that report will be awarded the Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Microbadge! You can always see the latest Dahlias photos by going to the ATP homepage and you'll see the latest pictures right below the articles.

Now, let's see the most popular Dahlias cultivars in our database:
#1: Single Dahlia (Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff')

@pirl says, "At the end of the season I made the mistake of not dividing the plant. The tubers had grown into several plants and should have been divided. It grew itself to death (sounds silly, I know) the following year. Unless dahlias are divided, regardless of the growing zone, the ball of tubers can't get sufficient nutrients to survive. People will notice fewer and fewer blooms and attribute it to something other than the true cause - they do need to divide dahlias."

#2: Dahlia (Dahlia 'Unwins Mix')

@Hemophobic says, "Frankly, I love these smaller dahlias. I planted some several years ago from seeds labeled as Unwin's Dwarf
and they bloomed beautifully and returned, so I'm planting more."

#3: Dinnerplate Dahlia (Dahlia 'Akita')

@SongofJoy says, "This dahlia has performed wonderfully well in zone 7a in Tennessee. Spectacular dinnerplate size blooms offer an ever-changing coloration from darker to lighter tones and shades. The plant has been pest and disease free. A heavy bloomer, it begins blooming in late summer and continues until frost."

#4: Decorative Dahlia (Dahlia 'Peaches 'n Cream')

@SongofJoy says, "Highly attractive to bees and butterflies.

'Peaches & Cream' is tall growing, free blooming, and colorful. Very full 7-inch blossoms are composed of yellow petals, flamed with bright orange, and tipped in white. The tall plant has lush dark foliage. Excellent for cutting. Grows 46-54" tall."

@pirl added, "Despite the data on the label (either HD or Lowe's) saying this Peaches 'n Cream grows to 18 inches, mine is at 6'."

#5: Tree Dahlia (Dahlia imperialis)

@JRsbugs says, "I've had this plant for around 6 years, it does well by my south wall but living over 53 degrees latitude north it doesn't get the day length requirements soon enough for the flower buds to open before the plant gets frozen. It has often got through frost to -5C, the leaves have had some frost on them and survived it, but an extra degree to -6C or different frost conditions usually kill it.

In the UK it grows to around 11 feet tall by my wall, I have grown more plants from it and put in other places in the garden but they never thrive, although some have lived. Buds in the last three years have looked so promising, this year some plants further south in England made flowers in mid November but mine were about to be frozen by mid December so I cut the stem to put in water, there's only one promising bud which I am not holding my hopes for. Getting to mid December is a miracle in itself, unless we happen to have very mild weather it would struggle to flower in very low winter temperatures here. I keep trying and hoping though!

Wind can be a problem when the new stems are still soft, I have had some blow over but with age they go woody. My plant survived in the ground after the very hard winter 2010/11 in the UK, with 7 weeks continually below freezing and with temperatures down to -17C.

New plants can easily be grown from young shoots taken with a little of the woody base. I have also grown them from the stem near the base after winter, which was still 'green' inside although the stems are hollow. If you have a live stem, cut a length either side of two nodes with a length of stem between them, place just under the surface of compost laid on the side in a large pot. They will root and make new plants from the nodes, so with two nodes you will get two plants which can be cut apart once the roots are sufficiently formed and repotted individually. I did this in a cold greenhouse where the pot got plenty of sun. If grown in the ground in a greenhouse I might get more chance of flowers, I now have a greenhouse with broken glass in the roof so next year maybe I will grow another plant to put in that greenhouse even though it gets some shade, worth a try!"

#6: Dahlia (Dahlia Mystic Illusion)

@Tree_climber says, "This is a fantastic plant in my zone 5 garden. The contrast of the yellow blooms and the dark (purple) foliage is amazing. Easy to grow."

#7: Formal Decorative Dahlia (Dahlia 'Sonic Bloom')

@jmorth says, "Full and fluffy 5.5" blooms. Introduced in 2006."

#8: Dahlia (Dahlia 'Bishop's Children')

@Calif_Sue says, "A descendant of the classic Dahlia, Bishop of Llandaff

Flowers come in a wide variety of warm-toned shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, and purple, in solid and sometimes bicolor blooms. The bloom forms include single and semi-double, as well as Peony-formed. The black foliage is very striking!"

#9: Decorative Dahlia (Dahlia 'Gay Princess')

@4susiesjoy says, "This is one of my earliest blooming dahlias' every year. Its blooms are about 5 inches and it grows to about 4 and 1/2 feet tall. It is a prolific bloomer and holds up well in arrangements."

#10: Dahlia (Dahlia 'Zoey Rey')

@4susiesjoy says, "This dahlia can get quite tall. It can be from 48 to 60 inches or taller if it is fed and watered regularly. Its flowers are large, but the stems are quite strong and they hold up pretty well in a bouquet or arrangement. The dark pink on the edge of the petals combined with the cream/yellow centers make this a real standout in the garden."

The most thumbed-up image in the Dahlias area is shown below:

Comments and Discussion
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
I'm blown away by all the photos added! by jvdubb Sep 29, 2015 10:46 AM 1
"Dinner Plate" dahlias by mandolls Sep 27, 2015 4:27 PM 6
Dahlias by jmorth Sep 27, 2015 1:33 PM 4
All Flower Growers. by peony745 Sep 27, 2015 9:15 AM 0
What's Your Favorite Method for Staking Dahlias? by LizinElizabeth Sep 27, 2015 7:08 AM 0
Dahlia Week..... by Paul2032 Sep 25, 2015 6:38 PM 0

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