Tag Archives: Tuber

UPDATE -NDC Dahlia Cuttings 62.5% success rate

You may remember back in June how excited I was when my 24 new Dahlia Cuttings arrived from the National Dahlia Collection (NDC) in Penzance, UK:

https://wordpress.com/post/stunningdahlias.wordpress.com/1061

I was reluctant ast first to buy more Dahlia cuttings from NDC as back in 2015 I had problems with a number of cuttings from NDC (see previous blog post). I was hesitant to buy from them again, but last year I gave in and placed another order, as I struggled to find other alternative suppliers in the UK with as much variety.

So this year, I was really vigilant and made sure I gave the Dahlias the best possible start and regularly fertilised and watered throughout the growing season. However I only had a 62.5% success rate with 15/24 growing correctly. The problems I had are as follows:

Wrong dahlia cutting sent (x4):  Picture on the left is what it should look like, picture on the right is what I was actually sent.

  • Tartan – no white stripes, this actually looks more like a ‘Thomas Eddison Dahlia’

tartan-comparison-2016

  • Karma Fusciana – single dahlia instead

karma_fuchsiana-comparison-2016

  • Oakwood Naranga – right colour, completely different shape

Oakwood-naranga X comparison 2016.jpg

  • Dr John Grainger – right colour, completely different shape

Dr John Grainger.jpg

Diseased Dahlia’s x2 – i.e. didn’t flower and Crown/Leaf Gall found when tuber dug up: 

  • Black Narcissus
  • Clara May

Crown Gall is a bacterial disease that causes large abnormal growths at the base of the infected plant or the top of one or more tubers as shown in the picture below. The plants are stunted and the shoots spindly. Since there is no effective treatment, infected plants and tubers should be destroyed. I think the source of the bacteria is unlikely to reside in my garden as the area the dahlias are being grown is was turfed up until 18 months ago ago when we moved in. Turfing is one of the recommended ways of getting rid of the bacteria if its a problem where you live, so I am doubtful it was already in my garden. It is also VERY common in Dahlias, so I can only suspect the Mother stock was infected and passed to the cuttings. Though you can never be sure with bacteria and virus diseases.

crown-leafy-gall-2016

Dahlia’s which didn’t grow x3  – i.e. cutting wilted and died, no tuber: 

  • Wooton Phoebe
  • Pearsons Ben
  • Lupin Dixie

didnt-grow-2016

15x Dahlias that grew well

The remaining 15 Dahlias grew well as you can see from the catalogue photo (top) versus the photo I took (Bottom). The red dahlias in particular did very well.

dahlia-progress-2016c

dahlia-progress-2016b

I’m not convinced the Dahlia ‘Promise’ has the same leaf shape, but at least it grew well and was the same colour. Tohsuikyou, flowered well, however the flower heads were too heavy for the stems and consequently the flowers were often drooped over.

dahlia-progress-2016a

Nuit de ete didn’t grow well, it only flowered once briefly, so I’m hoping it comes back next year and performs better. Je-Maintendrai was a huge dinner plate dahlia, gorgeous but difficult to stake. Zurichlooked nothing like i expected and never did develop the deep orange colour shown on the NDC website. Rossendale Luke and Barbarry dominion were both stunning.

In summary I had a 62.5% success rate. I have read that its normal to lose some dahlias each year, but it’s difficult to know what percentage is normal. I had similar problems in previous years with both Taylors Bulbs and the National Dahlia collection (NDC) sending different coloured dahlias to the ones intended. I have contacted the NDC and they have agreed to investigate and replace the 4 dahlias which were the wrong colour.

In the meantime I have placed a new Dahlia order with ‘Eurodahlia’ and I will report back next year 🙂

Dahlias are worth growing though – when they are in full bloom – like my garden here – they look magnificent:

Save

Save

Save

Save

Starting dahlia tubers in Northern UK

I’ve just purchased 4 new dahlia tubers and wanted to start them off early (Bergers Record, Friquloet, Bora-Bora and Labyrinth). The general guidance is that dahlias shouldn’t be grown outdoors until all risk of frost has passed and/or the nighttime temperature doesn’t drop below 10’C. In the North of the UK, that’s usually towards the end of May or beginning of June.

In previous years I have started tubers off in doors in pots. However last year I moved to a new house and don’t really have anywhere to put them indoors, especially as my tuber collection has grown too large to start them all off in the house. So I bought a very small Lean-to greenhouse/ coldframe W76 x D46 x H110cm.

index

So I have decided to experiment this year by planting the tubers in small pots with potting compost and perlite lightly watered and I have placed these in the greenhouse in early April….fingers crossed they will do ok outdoors as I have no idea what temperature the Greenhouse is during the day and night. I should probably insulate it with bubble wrap. let me know if you have any tips or advice.

I plan to leave the tubers in these small pots for as long as possible just to give the tubers enough time to sprout and produce shoots..then I will plant these out into a patch of garden I have already prepared for them.

 

Looking forward to Dahlia season!

I can’t wait for Dahlia season! It’s snowed pretty heavily today in Manchester covering my garden and I’ve been looking out of the window for weeks now wishing for some warm weather so I can get out in the garden. I probably won’t be able to plant Dahlias here in the North of the UK until the end of June, so will probably start last years tubers off in doors towards the end of April.

I moved house last year and went from having a tiny yard, where I had to grow my Dahlias in pots to a huge garden with lots of space. We got the keys in June 2015 and I managed to get my dahlias in the new garden (you can see 2 pics below of the new garden, versus the one pic of the old house yard).

Now I have a big garden to play with, I’ve got a bit excited and ordered 25 Dahlia cuttings from the National Dahlia Collection in the UK. I’m not a massive fan of cuttings and prefer tubers as I’ve found cutting weaker and more slower growing. However the National Dahlia Collection has a huge selection and cuttings are cheaper so I’ve decided to buy from them again. If some of the 25 cuttings don’t grow that well, it won’t matter as I already quite a lot of dahlia tubers from last year.

These are the pictures of the 25 new dahlias I’ve ordered and I can’t wait for them to arrive:

Strawberry Ice Dinner Plate Dahlia

Strawberry Ice is a huge dinner plate dahlia and probably the prettiest dahlia I grew this year. I bought it for half price in a sale in May and didn’t realise it was a dinner plate dahlia and would grow so large, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have chosen it as I have a small garden. However I’m glad I did, as it’s simply stunning, so definitely a good purchase 🙂

 

PART 4: Final Verdict on Dahlia Cuttings 6 months later – ‘National Dahlia Collection’

So the Dahlia season is at its end up here in the North of the UK, with the first frost anticipated to be mid-October. It’s been a mild summer, so I’m not actually sure of when the actual date will be. I’ve read that you should leave your dahlias in the ground and wait for the first frost to blacken the foliage before digging up, as this prompts the dahlia tubers to get ready for the following year. I haven’t seen any blackened foliage yet, so I need to wait a little longer. Most of my dahlias have stopped flowering, apart from the odd cutting which has finally produced its first flower after waiting over 6 months! So here’s my update.

I ordered 7 cuttings from the National Dahlia Collection which arrived 28th Apr 2014, and have reported on their progress over the last 6 months:
Part 1: https://stunningdahlias.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/part-1-7-dahlia-cuttings-from-national-dahlia-collection/

Overall, I’ve found growing dahlia cuttings tough and disappointing. 2/7 cuttings did well but the other 5 were small, flimsy and struggled to produce flowers. Most also seemed to have powdery mildrew or some other problem. I definitely prefer growing tubers which seem to produce more flowers and grow much stronger. So here is a run down of the 7 cuttings…

1. Alvas Doris (Small cactus)

Dahlia Alvas Doris (Small Cactus) 2603

This never did grow more than 1ft high, and after 6 months never produced a flower. I will be intrigued to dig this up and see if it produced a tuber and if it did, I will be even more intrigued to see if it grows next year?

2. Amberley Joan (Small Decorative)

Dahlia Amberley Joan (Small Decorative) 1016

Amberley Joan produced a flower very late (End August) albeit the wrong colour! It should have produced a lovely pink flower but instead produced a white flower – so very disappointing.

Amberley Joan 22 Aug 14c Amberley Joan 22 Aug 14e

3. Amorangi Joy (Small Cactus)

Dahlia Amorangi Joy (Small Cactus) 2725

Amorangi Joy never did grow more than 1ft high, and after 6 months never produced a flower. I will be intrigued to dig this up and see if it produced a tuber and if it did, I will be even more intrigued to see if it grows next year?

4. Bergers Record (Medium Semi-Cactus)

Dahlia bergers-record (Medium Semi-Cactus) 3069

Bergers Record grew beautifully and produced lots of lovely vivid flowers, this was one of the 2 cuttings which did well. As more flowers grow over the summer, the flowers change from a vibrant red, to an orange colour, more in keeping with the advertised website photo above.

5. Clair Obscur (Small Cactus)

Dahlia Clair Obscur (Small cactus) 2578

Clair Obscur produced 2 flowers in total, 1 in Septemeber and 1 in October. They are gorgeous striking flowers – I just wished it had produced more. Some of my dahlias from tubers have produced 50-100 flowers. This cutting has produced 2 flowers in 6 months!

IMG_6340-2 IMG_6344-2

6. Firebrand (Small Cactus)

Dahlia firebrand (Small Cactus) 2630

Firebrand grew beautifully and produced lots of lovely vivid flowers, this was one of the 2 cuttings which did well. Interestingly as new flowers are produced over the time, the colour of the flowers does change from a bright red to a yellow-red colour.

7. Mini Red (Miniature Cactus)

Dahlia_Mini Red (Miniture Cactus) 2808

Mini Red finally produced a flower in October! It took 6 months to produce a 1 small flower! Lets see how it does next year – providing it has produced tubers to carry it on next year.

So overall:

2 dahlias didn’t produce any flowers

1 dahlia produced a flower of the wrong colour and shape

2 dahlias produced only 1 or 2 flowers

2 dahlias grew well

So overall I conclude that I don’t like dahlia cuttings – or certainly not the ones I purchased. I would rather buy dahlia tubers in future which seem to do better depending on where you purchase them from. I had a great experience with tubers bought from Wilkinsons and private nurseries, yet Taylors Bulbs dahlias were awful and very poor quality producing the wrong colour and variety of dahlias.

Can’t wait to replant my dahlias next year 🙂

Part 3 Progress UPDATE “GARDEN4LESS” Dahlia Tubers (NATALIE G, LINDA’S BABY, CHOCOLATE & CANDY)

In April I ordered 3 dahlia tubers from garden4less. (http://www.garden4less.co.uk) and reviewed them:

  1. Natalie G (Ball)
  2. Linda’s baby (Ball)
  3. Chocolate & Candy (Decorative)

See original post Part 1 here:

https://stunningdahlias.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/product-review-garden4less-3-dahlia-tubers-natalie-g-lindas-baby-chocolate-candy/

The tubers were poor quality, but once they started growing I thought the foilage looked healthy and assumed the dahlias would do well.

However 2/3 produced the wrong type and colour of Dahlia!
I wrote to Taylors and their customer service is non-existent. Even though Taylors have the Queens Warrant, their quality control is poor and they have done nothing to rectify the fact I have been sent the wrong type of dahlia – probably against trading standards.

  1. Natalie G (Ball)

This is the only tuber from the 3 that produced the correct dahlia.

Natalie G 0

2. Linda’s baby (Ball)

I was really looking forward to growing baby pink ball flowers, and was somewhat disappointed when some minuscule tiny purple flowers appeared for both tubers. I think it might be Dahlia Rocco?

Linda's Baby Wrong Tuber

3. Chocolate & Candy (Decorative)

Only 1 out the 2 chocolate & Candy tubers grew, and the one that did grow produced only 1 flower in late September which was the wrong colour and variety. It produced a stunning flower, though I don’t know what variety it is? So if you know please leave a comment. Taylor’s bulb didn’t respond to my email about this.

Choc & Candy wrong tuber

Overall, I did eventually get some flowers from these Taylor’s dahlia tubers, however I think its shocking that 2/3 were labelled with the wrong colour and variety and Taylor’s QA/QC and customer service is non existent.

Dahlia’s Wrong Colour & Type?

I wonder how many of you have been sent Dahlia’s the wrong colour and type? Or how many people have experienced this with other types of flowers?

I was shocked this summer, out of 13 new dahlias purchased this summer (6 tubers & 7 cuttings), at least 4 of them were the wrong colour! That is a phenomenal error. Three varieties still haven’t produced a flower yet so the result could be much worse.

I think the Quality Control (QC) and Assurance (QA) process is crazily poor, imagine buying something from a shop, getting it home and it not matching the description or colour? Yet the suppliers think this is acceptable. Taylors bulbs even holds the Royal Warrant crest, yet its QC is poor and its customer service dissapointing. See previous post where I wrote to them regarding being sent the wrong tubers:

https://stunningdahlias.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/taylors-bulbs-wrong-dahlia-tubers/

Here are pics of dahlias I should of been sent (picture on left) versus the actual flower produced (picture on right).

Amberley Joan cutting – should have produced a pink flower – but produced a white flower

Amberley Joan Colour

Bergers Record Cutting – shows Orange flower, but it is more red (minor difference)

Bergers Record colour

Linda’s Baby Tuber – should have produced baby pink flower, instead produced minuscule purple flowers. Linda's Baby Wrong Tuber

Chocolate & Candy Tuber – Should have produce peach flowers, instead produced purple cactus style dahlias.Choc & Candy wrong tuber

Has anyone else had this problem? Is this more common than we imagined?