Dahlias – ours and theirs

Being gardeners, we’re usually willing to try anything that we find attractive and think will do well in our climate, provided we can find space in our garden. After reading and hearing so many people praise Dahlias, in spring we decided to plant a few.

We’ve made the usual novice mistakes, but most of the plants have survived (Dahlias are absolute slug magnets!) and we’re starting to get blooms. August and September are the prime Dahlia bloom months, our plants are a bit slow in coming on.

A few days ago we went to Swan Island Dahlia growers in Canby, half an hour south of Portland, where we’d bought our bulbs in Spring, to see the display beds and their fields in full bloom. As usually happens with these expeditions, we now want to plant a lot more Dahlias next spring.

Here are pictures, these first three are of ‘China Doll’, the first of our to bloom.

The following were taken at Swan Island.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in At Home in Portland, gardening and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Dahlias – ours and theirs

  1. Lovely photos. I’ve said it before. I don’t have the gift and wish I did.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:


  3. Very nice! Anything Diane plants the deer eat.

  4. Evan Lewis says:

    I’ve been to Swan Island Dahlias a time or two. They have some nice reading benches. Next time I’ll take a picture of one.

  5. cgramlich says:


  6. cgramlich says:


  7. Redhead says:

    That blue-ish China Doll is stunning!! well, they all are, but that one is my favorite. We planted Dahlias for the first time this year, and they bloomed huge in July, and now I just have lots of very healthy foliage and a few tiny buds. How do I get them to bloom again?

  8. Richard says:

    Hi Red! Dahlias should bloom all summer, from mid-late July into September. Make sure they are getting plenty of water every other day, and feed them with a low nitrogen fertilizer, we use a 5-10-10, which is what many tomato / vegetable fertilizers are. Nitrogen makes lots of foliage but less bloom, low nitrogen fertilizers, the opposite.

    The other thing you must do is cut the spent flowers, or cut them and bring them in for a bouquet. If you let the blossoms stay on the plant it will stop blooming, or bloom very little. Snip, snip!

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