As we reach the end of September, a few of my dahlia are really just getting going. Some dahlia varieties do take their time growing and blooming each year while others are a bit of a mystery. For instance, my "Pam Howden" waterlily dahlia was just plain slow to grow this year. In past years it has been among my first varieties to bloom, so I am stumped. I am wondering if maybe my stock has weakened and if I should invest in some new tubers for next year.
Another late bloomer for me this year is another waterlily; "Wildwood Marie". Again, this is normally not a late bloomer for me, so I don't know what to think. It bloomed so late and sparingly that I wasn't able to enter a bloom in any of the shows.
This is only my second year growing "Clearview Debby" so I don't know all of its habits yet. It appears to be a more difficult variety to "eye-up" in the Spring which then delays its planting. My 4 plants sprouted weeks apart, so I ended up with a nice long first and second flush coinciding with the shows in September.
"Lexa" is another variety which took a while to eye-up and then grew at a slower pace. But happily the first or second flush blooms - depending on the plant - timed out with the late September shows.
And another mystery for me; "Alden Snowlodge". I haven't grown this variety for the past couple of years, but I don't remember it being such a late bloomer. I wasn't able to enter a bloom in a show until the final show of the year in Roseburg. The two plants are only now bursting into a second large flush.
Here are two beautiful "Chimicum Les C.", pictured above. My two plants are only now finishing up their second flush. I seem to remember from past years that this is a slow-to-grow variety. I need to get these potted up in early May next year so I might have some to enter in the shows.
My mignon singles are just now branching out and bursting into a nice full display. But I can't blame the variety or the form. But I can blame the rabbits! They got in the fence and mowed down all of my Mignons in July. They have finally recovered and are putting on a really pretty show.
This is my first bloom of the year of "AC Kira". Last year the poor plant never even bloomed. While I do love its rich, deep purple color - it didn't photograph very well - it doesn't make a lot of sense to grow a plant that starts to bloom in October! I think I will give it one more year to behave and speed things up. If it is just as late next year I will carry on my search for a laciniated dahlia that blooms on time and has great form.
My last, late dahlia this year has been my "Lakeview Glow" . This variety has always been one of my first to bloom each year and then goes on kicking out blooms all the way until frost. Maybe it was just this tuber, or perhaps it wasn't happy in the location where it was planted. Next year I will make sure to plant it in a different spot and see if it reverts back to its old early ways.