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I Dare You…

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Just try to look at this low-growing dahlia and not feel cheery. I have a dozen of them in my front border and they really come into their own this time of year.

Posted by on September 19, 2008 at 11:47 am, in the category Uncategorized.
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8 responses to “I Dare You…”

  1. Kim says:

    Michele, is that Roodkapje? If it is, I bought some because you recommended them. I’d never been successful with dahlias before, and I put the ones I got into a pot because they arrived late. The little guys have bloomed their heads off, and I LOVE them. Thank you for the great recommendation. They DO make me smile.

  2. Michele Owens says:

    Kim, I’m glad my recommendation is panning out for you. Yes, those are Roodkapje. I hope you’ll over-winter yours. After a few years of planting them, I now have Roodkapje coming out of my ears.

  3. Pam J. says:

    Beautiful. Do you dig up the tubers each fall? I’m growing them this year for the first time and have had mixed success. I learned a few important things however: deer love them, and it’s important to put up sturdy stakes in the spring BEFORE the plants get too tall. I ignored this advice, as I ignore lots of advice, and learned that the variety I planted have very heavy thick stems.

  4. Michele Owens says:

    Pam J., this variety is so low-growing, there’s no need to stake. I dig them every fall after the first frost and cut off the soggy stems. I put them in Rubbermaid tubs filled with wood shavings or peat, put the top on, and leave them alone in the basement until February–when I give them a sprinkling of water. Though books will tell you otherwise, in my experience, drying out is a far greater danger for dahlia tubers than rotting.

  5. Pam J. says:

    Have you ever tried those giant dahlias? What do they call them…pan-faced? plate-faced? I’m guessing they have ugly foliage but flashy blooms.

  6. Michele Owens says:

    Dahlias are fantastic, one of my favorite things. I’ve never planted dinner-plate dahlias, but I’ve planted lots of decorative types. The foliage is not ugly. In some cases, it’s purple or black and beautiful.

    Dahlias just need to be staked because left to their own devices, they keel over. I have a 50 year-old dahlia book that recommends elaborate disbudding also for large blooms and to manage these tippy plants. I’ll have time to do that in my next life.

  7. Kim says:

    Michele, I was thinking of trying to overwinter them in the ground – think that will work here in my Zone 7 garden? My border is on the north side of my house, but it has a retaining wall behind it to help shelter it from north-east winds. And we do get nor-easters here – some with snow but most with rain.

    When I was a kid, my uncle’s parents, in Clarksville TN, had a gorgeous bed of dahlias just outside their back door, and the plants had been there for years. I was hoping I could do the same thing . . . . .

  8. TC says:

    How interesting that you would post this on the same day that I looked at ours and said to my wife: “Don’t they look just as happy as pigs in mud?”

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