We have done posts of digging dahlias, dividing dahlias and storing dahlias. We have covered those topics pretty well but we decided to do a post on our favorite dahlias. To become a favorite dahlia that will be planted every year we evaluate them based on certain attributes. They include: hardiness, good tuber producer, strong stems for self support ( no netting), good laterals for cutting, popularity and basic prettiness. These were our favorites for this year
Maarn is a great dahlia, it produces tons of blooms, long sturdy stems and is one of the longest lasting dahlias in the vase. It is a nice soft orange and has been used in quite a few weddings.
Midnight Moon is a lovely mostly white with lavender tips that has very sturdy stems for cutting. It produces tons of blooms and keeps on going if you keep them cut. Whites and yellows are difficult for us to grow because they are the most attractive to the cucumber beetle who LOVES dahlias. Moon keeps sending up blooms despite the attack of the beetle. Best to grow ahead of the bugs.
Gitts Attention is a gorgeous white and if you can get it ahead of the bugs, it is a wonderful white bloom for bouquets. Very strong plant and stems that needs no support.
Polventon Supreme is a great yellow dahlia that is wonderful for bouquets and weddings. The bugs love it so plant it early or late. Great stems for cutting.
Foxy Lady is a pretty little dahlia with great color. It is almost always the first dahlia to bloom for us. The stems get weak as the season goes but we keep it in our mix of dahlias because of the coloring, the small size for petite bouquets and it is popular being the first dahlia of the season.
Wildcat is a wildly popular dahlia. It makes yellow bouquets pop with color and mixes well with a lot of our flowers. It sends up a fair amount of blooms but can blow to a single a bit more often. We are going to bring in some new fresh tubers to improve the mother stock of Wildcat.
Loverboy is a beautiful red dahlia. This photo isn't doing it justice but it gets cut faster than I remember to photograph it. Nice big bloom and a bold statement in an arrangement. It looks terrific with our big orange, yellow or deep red lilies in making a large bouquet.
Neon Splendor is another big bloom at 7 inches. It is a bright orange color and looks splendid in Autumn designs. It can throw single blooms also but the color is so great that it is worth the effort.
Kenora Lisa is a fairly new dahlia for us, we have only had her for two seasons. The color and size of the blooms are just wonderful. It is a coral, peachy pink color with hints of yellow and is a 5-6 inch bloom. It is the blossom that gets the most oooohs and aaaahs at the market. Brides have wanted it for their weddings. We need to build more stock of this dahlia.
Jessie G. is a burgundy/purple ball dahlia that is about 3 1/2 inches. The color fools you, inside under artificial light it is purple, take it outside in the sun and it is a beautiful burgundy. Learned that one the hard way this year. Great stems and a sturdy plant.
Hamilton Lillian is a big peachy orange dahlia that is new for us also. Large bloom and good stems.
Patricia Ann's Sunset is a gorgeous red/orange waterlily. Looks wonderful in Autumn arrangements and is a long lasting waterlily variety.
Miss Delilah is one of the first dahlias we had when we started cut flowers nine years ago. She is a workhorse of a dahlia that keeps blooming and setting tubers. When we lost all 3000 dahlias to a freeze in 2009, she was one of the first dahlia variety we replaced because of her consistency and good bloom production.
Gonzo Grape and Taboo are our two deep purple dahlias and most of the time I can't tell them apart very quickly. Both produce great blooms with good lateral cuts. The bucket is full of Grape/Taboo and Foxy Lady for wedding reception flowers.
Cafe au Lait is a big dahlia bloom. We like to call it a salad plate size bloom, not as big as a dinner plate dahlia. This also is one of our original dahlias we had before we started our cut flower farm. We got this dahlia from a mixed bag of dahlias from Costco. It was not popular, hard to sell and folks saw it as a washed out pink or white dahlia, not for brides. So it was removed from our collection after a few years. Then suddenly it became very popular as a bridal flower and now tubers are hard to get but we have a few and will always be adding it to our collection.
There are a few other dahlias that we used to have but were lost in the freeze, that I would like to find and bring back to our collection. The sport of Ala Mode was my most favorite dahlia which was a peachy/pink orange dahlia with a shimmer of lavender. Ivanetti was a deep purple ball that lasted forever in a vase. Black Satin is a deep black red ball that is just striking in a bouquet and two miniature size dahlias; Precious a little lavender dahlia and Raz-Ma-Taz a yellow and raspberry combo that was just fun to play with in bouquet. Replacing 3000 dahlia tubers that were grown and collected over 10 years, is hard to replace in just a few years but we try new dahlias every year; some make the collection and some do not. It is exciting when the new catalogs come out and we start picking all the new varieties we would like to try out.