Chat forum: dahlia heights

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dahlia53
May 18, 2021 2:19 PM CST
WA
I hope this is not redundant; if so, I will move to whatever you think is the appropriate category or the admins are welcome to move it. I ordered 25 new varieties from 4 different growers. With some, the heights were listed; with some, not. I try to plan my dahlia beds by height, and also by drainage - since most of my drainage is lousy and I have been known to dig in Sept down-slope where it's wet.

When I went to look up heights for some of these varieties, the heights given can be as variable as a 2' difference! Different growers listed different heights for the same varieties; doesn't help me at all in the mapping and deciding. I need to get planted! Any suggestions in finding out the true "average" height of any given variety - what are your best sources of information? Thanks in advance.
ImageIslander
May 18, 2021 3:58 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
I would look at what other people in your area are reporting. If you have shade your plants might grow taller to reach toward the sun. Also, do you "stop" your plants for height by pinching the tops out? That encourages them to bush out more as well as reducing the height.
Salish Dahlias
ImageCosey
May 18, 2021 4:53 PM CST
Name: LeeAnn
Zone 6b, Pennsylvania
Consider your source. Plant height on a production cut flower farm will vary greatly from the back yard gardener. I would find growers that would be similar to your plant management style. Additionally, if the grower has a nutrient plan and routinely waters their plants they are probably much larger than those who do not.

I get people asking why their dahlias aren't growing or aren't as big as mine and 9 times out of 10 they don't routinely water or don't water enough.

Imageteddahlia
May 18, 2021 5:04 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Here at Hollyhill most everything is tall. I do not like dahlias shorter than 4 feet. 6 or 7 feet is a good height for us. Tangelo and Zarina are 9 footers. Finlandia is only about 7 feet. Gordon is a tall 6 feet. Our new white pom called Snowdrop is 6 feet tall and most poms are about 3 feet tall. .
Too many flowers, not enough time!
ImageCosey
May 18, 2021 5:10 PM CST
Name: LeeAnn
Zone 6b, Pennsylvania
teddahlia wrote:Here at Hollyhill most everything is tall. I do not like dahlias shorter than 4 feet. 6 or 7 feet is a good height for us. Tangelo and Zarina are 9 footers. Finlandia is only about 7 feet. Gordon is a tall 6 feet. Our new white pom called Snowdrop is 6 feet tall and most poms are about 3 feet tall. .


🤦‍♀️ I just planted it with my other poms. Lol. Better go move it now.
Imagemelissamaeday
May 18, 2021 9:09 PM CST
Name: Melissa
Omaha,NE
When in doubt, it's 4 ft.

Unless someone lists it as short/very tall, or it's consistent across different vendors listings, that is how I roll anymore. My local dahlia friend and I check each other's height lists every year before planting, and catch a few 5-6 footers that others have reported as 3.5 ft.
dahlia53
May 19, 2021 10:56 AM CST
WA
thanks, all, for your answers. i'll just plant them and hope for the best! I agree that I have found so many variations. I water consistently and have full sun, take good notes, and no doubt, be surprised at a few. :) Feeding is still a bit of a mystery and gamble.

If anyone has grown Island Foil and Lakeview Lemon drop, how tall did they get in your gardens? How about Lillian Stewart? I live on an island in NW WA. thanks.
[Last edited May 19, 2021 11:02 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1372708 (7)
Imageteddahlia
May 19, 2021 12:17 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Island Foil? Is it Island Flare by the Ambroses who named their lesser originations Island instead of Camano. They too lived on an island. Flare grows tall.
Too many flowers, not enough time!
ImageIslander
May 19, 2021 1:54 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
ON my Island in the PNW Lakeview Lemon Drop grew very short...under 4 feet. Too bed because it was an adorble flower. It kept being overgorwn by its neighbors.
Salish Dahlias
dahlia53
May 19, 2021 5:52 PM CST
WA
i was hoping it was maybe that, Ted, but the grower called it Island Foil - maybe mis-named or a sport of flare. I'll put it in the end of the row in case; she is also up here on another island and said it was 3.5 to 4' in her fields. the blurred picture provided looked different than island flare, and there is nothing like it listed anywhere online. i hope it blooms so i can photograph it; love the color so far but it's hard to tell.

Thumb of 2021-05-19/dahlia53/606407

Noni, thanks for telling me that. i will give lakeview lemon drop a spot where it hopefully won't get overcrowded by something taller.
[Last edited May 19, 2021 5:54 PM CST]
Quote | Post #1372733 (10)
ImageCCvacation
May 21, 2021 12:16 AM CST
Name: CC
PA
Did anyone's 'My Hero' grow fairly short? I was disappointed last season by the smaller-than- Nick Sr bloom size and plant height.
CC
Imageteddahlia
May 21, 2021 10:22 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
My Hero: At the trial garden it was barely 4 feet tall. Sort of funny because when Nick Sr. was at the trial garden, it was a sequoia tree(huge stalks) and over 6 feet tall. My Hero is a sport of Nick Sr. but it seems to have lost some of the "vigor and height" genes in the sporting process. Sports are caused by a loss of genes and perhaps a cosmic ray goes through the DNA like a laser weapon and takes out numerous other genes at the same time. It is always possible that another sport will occur and fewer other genes will be damaged and a better version would be the result. Wishful thinking. Confused
Too many flowers, not enough time!
ImageDillyDahlia
May 22, 2021 10:05 AM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
If I check multiple vendors and there is a range of heights like 3.5’ to 5’...I do the same thing as Melissa...put them in the 4’ section.
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith
Imageteddahlia
May 22, 2021 10:33 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
The 3.5 ' seller probably has sick stock. It is funny that the ADS has the trial garden directors measure all the plants in the trial gardens and then does not share that information. When I assign a height to a new introduction, it is an approximation of of how tall it was in my garden. I fertilize and water and and have full sun. I am at about the 45th parallel for latitude and latitude makes a difference as the farther north you go in latitude(not in cold temps), the taller the plants. Shade is sneaky in that even a minor amount of shade makes dahlias taller. Shade cloth makes them really tall(and skinny too). Heat may have an effect on dahlia height also as warm night temps probably causes shorter plants.
Too many flowers, not enough time!
ImageDillyDahlia
May 22, 2021 12:18 PM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
Ted, i always appreciate all the info you share. I believe that high temps have affected the growth and height of my plants, especially if they are not 15’-18’ tall before the summer heat sets in.
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith
dahlia53
May 23, 2021 9:34 AM CST
WA
Sometimes sports work out better. I have what I believe is a sport of Park Princess; it's a lovely raspberry red and I have had it for years. You all inspire me to make a small greenhouse so I can make cuttings of tubers I don't want to lose, or grow pot tubers!

Speaking of heights, I have had some dahlias do absolutely lousy the first year I had them - hardly grow at all and seem to be sick. But when I gave them a second chance, they did superb! Cooper Blaine from Swan Island is one of those, and no photograph can do it justice. The second year, Cooper Blaine was 4 feet tall and a prolific bloomer - I tend to grow garden varieties for cutting purposes. If they can cut and have decent stems, that is the main criterion. I like the taller varieties but most of mine are 4-4.5 feet.

[Last edited May 23, 2021 9:39 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1373029 (16)
addicted
May 29, 2021 8:55 PM CST
Name: Em
NY
Allen's Tribute is listed as a sport of Nick Sr. on Cowlitz River.
Em
Dahlias -- the gift that keeps on giving!
Imageteddahlia
May 29, 2021 9:10 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Allens Tribute: I knew he had a Nick Sr purple sport but did not know he named it and sold it. I would give it try to see if it grows better than My Hero. .
Too many flowers, not enough time!
Imagehonnat
Jun 2, 2021 12:32 PM CST
St. Paul, MN
I've got them both now and will compare. Teresa (Cowlitz) says Allen's Tribute is smaller than My Hero.

Btw - the "My Hero" I had last year was plenty tall. Same as Nick Sr for me.

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