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Plantidote of the Day 2011-05-24

twig's picture



There are so many different kinds of dahlias that even if you don't care for the tidy, honeycomb style shown above, there's probably one that you would like. Maybe the shaggy cactus dahlia, for example, or something a bit more traditional, like the anemone variety – there's something for everyone in the dahlia world!

Dahlias are not just beautiful and varied, though. According to the American Dahlia Society, they're very gardener friendly.

Dahlias are easy plants to grow and yield beautiful blooms from mid-summer through fall. In many respects, “dahlia culture” is similar to “tomato culture.” If you can grow tomatoes in your garden, you can successfully grow dahlias.

Never having grown dahlias, I don't have anything to add to that. But maybe readers who know more about these flowers will leave comments with suggestions and advice. They look like beautiful additions to a garden, and it's great that there's something in this family for every zone (Yay! Something we can all grow!!). But it's always nice to hear from people with actual firsthand experience!

Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

PLANTIDOTE GROUP FORMING: Want to help gather images and take Plantidote of the Day to the next level? Of course you do! Join us by clicking the Join Groups menu item to sign up or email me at the address above!

Click on the image to see a larger version. Click here to see the entire series.

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Kathryn's picture
Submitted by Kathryn on

... another full sun variety I miss. I was wandering the local nursery today looking at some of the smaller dahlia cultivars with much desire. Although when I lived in Texas I was besotted with the dinner plate varieties.

Of course, everything here is rotting. Seriously, weeks of rain and no sun, even with good drainage... the herbs have all gone and several plants are looking sad. And lots of rain to come. At this point, I could have maybe gotten orchids to grow.

It is making me crazy this rain and I went to lunch at Moe's today, and mid-nachos, Bibi comes on CNN and everyone starts applauding. Whatever karma this is has got to be over soon.


Back to plantidote happiness.


jerztomato's picture
Submitted by jerztomato on

but if you're frugal (and lazy) like me you won't grow them. They're not much work during the growing season, but most in most of the country (any zone colder than 7) you have to dig up the tubers after the first frost and store them in peat moss or sand for the winter. I grew them back East, when I had a basement to store them, but many times I waited too long to dig them up, or I was just too lazy. Now I live in a zone where technically I can leave them in the ground, but they will rot due to the wet winter soil. I love cannas, but don't grow them for the same reason.

Kathryn's picture
Submitted by Kathryn on

Just because. I have a stunning clematis for tomorrow's plantidote [happy in sunnier days]. But since I am new to this planting thing, MOST of my stuff is mystery plants. I should call it "the wednesday kath is clueless mystery plantidote question of the day."

And I'm thinking about posting about the difference between vengeance and justice. BECAUSE THERE IS A DIFFERENCE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

I'm going to need therapy soon. Or alcohol. hmmm. or the wednesday plantidote becomes better living thru home grown pharmaceuticals.

Wait! ..... SHROOMS!!! perfect.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

you'll be so jealous -- NOT! I'm ready to throw in the rake. And the shovel and the hoe, too! I don't know what's going on, but nothing will grow here this year.

I haz a sad :-(