Thursday Notebook – Dahlias

I intended to dig up dahlias last fall after first frost, but after joining a Facebook group and reading details of storing and dividing them to plant in spring, I was overwhelmed and just never made the move toward doing the work. Fortunately the winter was mild enough. Many of last year’s dahlias overwintered and seem ready to fill the garden with color this summer.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Longfield Gardens sent replacements for some mislabelled ones I received last year and for several that did not grow. I appreciate how very nice and friendly they have been to deal with. All spring sections of the borders have looked empty, covered in brown mulch, but finally these areas should come alive.

More Dahlias

There is endless choice in types of dahlias one can grow. I might try to order another one or twelve. Do you have a favorite?

22 thoughts on “Thursday Notebook – Dahlias

  1. johnvic8

    It’s been awhile, but I seem to remember that “Shannon” was quite lovely, and made it through mild winters. That it happens to be my middle name has nothing to do with the recommendation.

  2. Chloris

    I never dig mine up, I just cover them in layers of newspaper and then mulch. Difficult to choose a favourite but my seed grown ones delight me most. Your buds are very early.

  3. NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    A friend gave me six last year and they bloomed quite well. I dug them up, divided, and stored them, and potted them up several weeks ago. I had to give a bunch a way because I had way too many. 🙂 I also ordered six from a company but only three of them are doing well. So, we’ll see how it goes. Yours are lovely, and I sure wish I didn’t have to dig mine up. 🙂

  4. Cathy

    I am growing a few new ones this year after years of not bothering. I have to admit I am also put off storing them over winter but they are recycled in a different way – I put them on the compost heap in autumn!

  5. Kris Peterson

    Your dahlia season looks to be off to a great start, Susie. I dig up my dahlias because they’re in my cutting garden and I replant the area each season but the gardeners I know who leave theirs in place generally get flowers much earlier. Last year, I dug up my tubers and, distracted by the final stages of our remodel, didn’t store them in a timely manner so almost all of them were desiccated. I started over with new tubers this year and it’s too early to identify a favorite from this year’s crop but, last year, ‘Punkin Spice’ was my favorite.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I remember ‘Punkin Spice’. Great one. Hope the new ones do well for you. I figured if I dug mine up I’d never get them planted again at the right time.

  6. Eliza Waters

    I love just about any dahlias – their form is so perfect. I’m trying some dwarfs in a planter this year and I just got ten planted in the garden yesterday. Unlike you, I have to dig mine, but even with my ‘bad’ storage (tubers in paper bags thrown into the crawl space), they came through okay, albeit a bit shrivelled. I have to surround them with copper flashing as the slugs would ruin any blossom. It is very effective!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for sharing how you store dahlias. Maybe they’re not quite as fussy as I thought. I probably just lucked out this year–sometimes winters are much worse here than this past one. Good luck with your dahlias Eliza.

  7. tonytomeo

    No favorite. I have not grown enough of them. We dig them only to divide them. It does not get so cold here that they need to be dug. However, the bedding dahlias are not reliably perennial. They ‘can’ be, but I do not like them enough to give them the effort.


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