Dahlias forum: Buying tubers

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Nov 14, 2018 9:17 PM CST
Hello I'm new here and new to dahlias. I live on the Texas Coast in an area where dahlias are not well known. Before I bought my first plants I contacted friends that were members of Master Gardeners and asked them to ask around and find me somebody with knowledge and experience in my area and they found no one. No surprise because it's hot, humid with tight soil (clay)

However, I'm good with plants and I forged ahead. I bought 2 Fire Pot Dahlias and ten border dahlias. I raised the beds with fertile loose soil so the tubers wouldn't rot in two different locations so I could test what sun conditions they like (there is sun and there is Texas sun....not the same). The Firepot and Border plants did very well in the shadier area especially the Fire Pots but their tuber clumps were superior. The borders were mediocre but the Fire Pots were spectacular all summer long.

I'm putting the tubers that are left away for the winter and I want to buy tubers for the spring. The Fire Pots came in a large clump of tubers and I'm not sure if I was just lucky in that purchase or if that's normal since many sites talk about tuber instead of tubers.

My question is, can I buy clumps and how can I tell if they're clumps especially as most sites have no grades posted?

Thank you
Mike Lynch
[Last edited by MeCasa - Nov 15, 2018 8:22 AM (+)]
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Dec 8, 2018 10:16 AM CST
This entire adventure saddened me to no end. I have been excited about my new found love for flowers (especially dahlias) and especially excited when I found a forum for like thinking people. Yet when I ask a question I'm ignored.

One would think that other dahlia growers would welcome and help people new to their hobby, but this is nothing more than a bloated enclave for people who feel themselves elitists and that is sad because it could be so much more.

Such is life but my love for the flowers won't decrease.

Take care :-)
Name: Dan
NE Ohio (Zone 6a)
Dec 8, 2018 11:00 AM CST
Mike, I'm sorry you didn't receive any replies to your question. Your post in mid-November came at a time when many people, myself included, are busy catching up on garden and yard work we've fallen behind on and don't frequent this forum as much. I only occasionally check in this time of year. Still, I apologize for not noticing your post. I think you'll find that this is a most helpful group and we love for new people to join in.

Most of the bigger dahlia suppliers sell tubers rather than clumps. There is a big list of sellers on the "Dahlia Addicts" site. Many of those have ratings. Those who sell clumps are often listed as re-sellers. They sell the ones that are packaged and are usually imported. They're the same ones you find in big box stores. I've had about as much luck with those clumps as I have with individual tubers .... and there's cheaper, just not as big a selection as individual tubers.

As far as grades/ratings, you can go on the "Dave's Garden" site and click on "Garden Watchdog" listed under "sources". There are reviews for literally hundreds of companies selling everything garden related.

Firepot is a beautiful dahlia and one I've grown for many years.

Hampton, Virginia (Zone 8b)
Dec 21, 2018 9:14 PM CST
HI Mike. I think it may be something that is better possibly addressed in the Texas forum. Use the suggested areas to look for what you are interested in, the most in way of selection, price of tuber vs. clump of tubers plus shipping &/or postage. It may partly be due to just as you mentioned, no one in Texas could seem to answer your question. If few in Texas grow Dahlias, then it may be due to the conditions, as you may notice there may actually be few, if any vendors in your state. Reason being, it can get too hot for many, to help preserve the flower life of many sorts. You might amend your soil & keep them watered... You can always try!Don't get discouraged so easily as gardening takes patience too. You might even try growing from seeds, as some suppliers offer them. IN my area, where it can get hot in summer with warm nights, they tend to slow down & could be another reason why. But do ask in the Texas (regional) Forums. I've grown them off & on, for many years...Shawn

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