Stake the Dahlias: Ephemeral Dahlias

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Stake the Dahlias

By Sharon
September 29, 2015

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.

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hazelnut
May 22, 2014 9:34 AM CST
I love Dahlias. Ive never had the kind that need stakes. My only complaint is that they don't last very long. You get the tubers and plant them, and mulch them over winter, and maybe they will come back once or twice, or maybe they wont. and just now Ive gone to look where I put the dahlias, and none are to be found. So they are getting on my list of "more trouble than its worth" -- along with a few people I know.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
May 22, 2014 10:25 AM CST
You made me laugh, Gloria. And I agree with your last sentence.

That was the other thing about dahlias, they had to be dug during fall and stored in a basket in the cellar. Guess whose job that was? I didn't enjoy that very much either. On the other hand the one that I had in my garden here lasted a few years before it disappeared -- left inground, of course. We've had such ugly weather, I don't blame it much for not showing up again. I haven't decided whether or not I'll ever replace it. Seems that the older I get, the less I want to drive stakes into the ground and I sure don't want to dig anything up in the fall.



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hazelnut
May 22, 2014 1:43 PM CST
[Last edited by hazelnut - May 22, 2014 3:02 PM (+)]
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hazelnut
May 22, 2014 1:44 PM CST
I have pretty fair luck with not digging up gladiolias, but dahlias must be from south of here!
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
May 22, 2014 2:29 PM CST
Mom had glads too, but there again, if you really want to keep them for a long time, they have to be brought inside for winter. Although I have one that was planted with several in 2000 and it keeps coming back year after year. Never does it bloom, but the foliage is always there. Some day I might remember to dig it out and let it winter inside then plant it again to see if it will bloom. This climate is one of those middle of the road deals. It can't decide whether or not to be considered north or south. It for sure isn't east though, no matter where the Mighty Mississippi flows because it is nothing like the climate in E Kentucky. It's much hotter and very dry.
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hazelnut
May 22, 2014 3:06 PM CST
I am in Zone 8. I know things that have to be dug and overwintered in Zone 7 can be left in the ground in Zone 8. In my opinion if it has to be dug up, it isn't worth the trouble. Here it is hot, humid, and wet. hardly a week goes by that there isn't rain one or two days--heavy rains.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
May 22, 2014 3:57 PM CST
Hot and humid today for sure and it looks as if one of those heavy rains is moving in this evening.

I agree, not worth it.
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Sep 28, 2015 6:46 PM CST

Plants Admin

I'm fortunate enough not to have to dig dahlias up for winter, but unfortunate enough to have gophers that adore dahlias, so I grow only a few in containers.

The best dahlia garden I've ever seen was close to the beach in San Francisco. Oddly enough, the dahlias coped beautifully with fog every day and lots of salt in the air.

Incidentally, the name for Dahlia in Russian is Georgin, similar to the German name, but a masculine noun, in contrast to other countries' feminine names for this genus.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Sep 28, 2015 7:13 PM CST
I have an old high school friend who has traveled here and there, never staying in one place very long. It was his work that took him to many places but I'd get a post card from him occasionally over the years and it always had the same message: "Living in Kansas now, the dahlias are still with me." Or Tennessee or Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and one time it was Maine or one of the NE coastal states.

We had exchanged 'good luck' gifts when we graduated, both knowing we would most likely never see each other again. He gave me seeds from his favorite Black Eyed Susan and I gave him a single tuber from one of Mom's Dahlias. By that time I'd staked enough of them I felt as if they were mine. When we were growing up we might have been the only 2 students in our school who cared a bit about plants. He liked the blooms and of course I knew mostly about medicinal wildflowers.

We retired at about the same time and he sent a card telling me he was retiring to N Georgia because he wanted to be back in the mountains. His P.S. was the same as always: 'I brought the Dahlias with me!' Occasionally he's sent pictures of the blooms, still the same dark pink, but always in different environments. If I ever see him again, I'm sure he will still have those dahlias, just as I still have his black eyed susans.

I tell you this because I swear I think dahlias must be the strongest plants I know, not a bit temperamental or stubborn. It doesn't surprise me that they grow well for you, even if you have to protect them from your vile enemies. You've been fighting those gophers all the years I've known you, Zuzu, I think ultimately you'll win. Big Grin
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