Well, September is finally here and that means that there’s something very special happening – the dahlias are in full bloom! Even though I don’t have as much space for dahlias as I would like, I’m loving what I did plant.
Dahlia tubers can sometimes be on the more expensive side. Well, I guess that’s subjective. To me, anything more than about $3 is a little too much for my wallet to handle. When you pair a common price tag of around $6 per tuber with a full-blown dahlia obsession this spells terrible news for your budget. Sure, you can take cuttings from the tubers for more plants if you order early, but when you’re operating out of your basement with cheap grow lights, I find it’s better not to add more work than you need to. For this reason, I always wait until the ‘end of shipping’ sale that most dahlia farms offer around the end of May. While some varieties may be sold out by this time, there are still plenty of gorgeous options for the cutting garden. Besides, who knows when you’ll stumble upon your next “favorite” dahlia. As it happened, the aptly named ;Precious’ was one of the varieties that I chose on a whim this year – and it’s absolutely adorable.
Since my tubers arrived much later than my last frost, I planted them directly into the ground around mid-June. Once the plants had reached about 12″ high, I topped the branches to encourage more blooms. Since the tubers were planted later in the season, the overall size of my plant was much smaller than described online – about 2 ft., compared to the possible 4ft.
Regardless of the height of my plant, this variety flourished in my garden. My tiny plant was, and still is covered with blooms – what a wonderful surprise! In addition to the multitude of flowers, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the long stem length and can only imagine that it will be much better next year when I’m able to start tubers earlier.
In my garden, flower buds show a somewhat dark purple as they begin to open and gradually fade to a very cute white and lavender that seems to almost “glow” in the sun. When taken in the house and arranged, however, the flowers may seem more lavender than white – depending on the presence of natural or artificial light.
My first ‘Precious’ flower was cut on August 4th, which leads me to think that it would possibly bloom quite early if planted after my last frost date. With proper handling, I found that this variety did quite well in the vase. Even though this plant had the tendency to somewhat “flop” and need support in my garden, it very seldom had “issues” with getting snacked on by the insects. I definitely foresee growing this variety again and building my stock of tubers.
Have you grown ‘Precious’? What did you think? Have any tips or tricks? I would love to hear your comments! Hope you have a wonderful day, much love!