Dahlias: Every Gardener’s Delight
If you keep up with the National Garden Bureau’s “Year of” program, you’re aware last year was Year of the Dahlia. While we already had 365 days of celebrating this stunning crop category, we can’t stop just yet. Dahlias are, and continue to be, a top seller in the marketplace.
According to monthly contributor Vaughn Fletcher, “Very few flowers engender as much excitement, adoration and interest as dahlias.”
Vaughn says the public fascination for dahlia’s flower forms, sizes and colors is unparalleled. There are thousands of registered cultivars, and many current and new introductions were entered and displayed in multiple trials throughout the country last summer.
Vaughn highlights some of the most colorful and impressive performers in his article, “Dazzling Dahlias,” in December GPN. His focus was on unique flower colors and forms, as well as flower stability, heat tolerance, durability, uniformity and flower canopy coverage.
To read his full report, click here. For now, here are a few of his favorites.
This standalone hybrid presents dark mahogany-black foliage and large cerise pink flowers with quill-shaped ray petals that give the flowers a spiky appearance. This is a vigorous variety with a growth habit similar to the Mystic series.
‘Labella Grande Dark Pink’
This double variety is not new but was entered in summer trials for many years to demonstrate its uniformity, heat tolerance, flower stability and impressive flower canopy. The series consists of nine colors that are excellent in 6-inch programs. Plants mature at 12 inches, and if a bench run uniform series is required this series will achieve that goal.
‘Dalaya Purple + White’
This medium-sized series is comprised of 12 colors including bicolors and solids. It is characterized by excellent upright branching and a floriferous canopy. Many colors have been recognized for their uniqueness. Purple + White was impactful and eye catching with deep purple ray flowers tipped with white and a yellow center.
‘Lubega Power Tropical Punch’
This series was first introduced by Volmary in Europe and introduced to the American market by Benary+ in 2017-18. It is comprised of 13 solid and bicolored double flowers, including five new colors for 2020. The series is vigorous and early blooming, with excellent upright branching. Tropical Punch was floriferous and eye catching in late summer because of its flower size, stability and color saturation.
‘Starsister Yellow Daffodil’
One of the most unique dahlia series on the market, Starsister boasts anemone and collarette-shaped flowers in 11 colors that are stunning and distinctive. Yellow Daffodil is new for 2020, and the luminosity and saturation of the yellow flowers differentiated this variety from any dahlia in the trials.
This standalone variety generated interest and excitement at the 2019 California Spring Trials for one significant reason: the large, pink and white bicolor flowers with a splash of yellow in the center. This dahlia is vivid, luminous and bright on compact, well-branched plants that were consistent and nonfading in trials.
Do you grow dahlias? What are some of your top sellers? Have you grown any of the above varieties, and do you plan to add any new dahlias to your production this season? Shoot me an email at [email protected], and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.