Dreams of Sugar Plums and Dahlia Tubers
November 24 . . . My dahlias were dug and divided. The tubers were heavy with moisture, so the bags were left open. I will seal them soon. Then the 2018 season will be over.
If I had just a few dahlias and good drainage I might be tempted to leave them in the ground covered with a few inches of mulch. But I live in an area with soggy Virginia clay, so I dig them. Growers in the colder parts of the country must dig their tubers if they want to save them. If you don't want to dig your tubers, you can treat them as annuals and buy new each year. Tubers are often cheaper than annuals - especially at local society sales!
When my dreams are pleasant, I think of the new varieties that are hitting the market and the super blooms that were at the shows and trial gardens.
2018 ADS National Show at Longwood Gardens
If I just grew a small number of dahlias, I would want to add a few new ones that did not come from the Dutch cultivars that appear year after year at the garden shops. The best buys are at your local dahlia society sales. Visit dahlia.org in early spring to find sales in your area.
The ADS Facebook page has a lot of photos, as do the Facebook or websites of a many local societies. Also see the Online Classification Guide on the ADS site for pictures. If you want to see the sites for commercial dahlia sellers, links for ADS advertisers appear on the ADS website.
Every year the ADS awards the Stanley Johnson medal to a dahlia that has withstood the test of time.
These dahlias grow well and typically make beautiful blooms. The winners include a wide variety of sizes, types and colors. See pictures of Stanley Johnson winners at on the ADS site .
Hot off the press - the 2018 winner is Clearview Daniel.
If you want to grow this year's new introductions they will be posted to the ADS website (with the trial garden info) soon.
During this season of gift giving don't forget dahlia related gifts for the dahlia lovers on your list. I'm in love with the oscillating multi tool. Books, plant labels, gardening gloves, twine for a stocking stuffer, cosmetic bags and totes decorated with dahlia graphics ... the list is endless ... would all be appreciated. Or choose an ADS membership as a gift.
The folks at ADS wish you happy holidays.
Dreaming of sugar plums and dahlia tubers,