Tiny, Nonflowering Dahlias

Okay, I admit planted these dahlias in an area that turned out to have less sun than I thought it would have. But I've got roses blooming nearby getting the same amount of sun, so they aren't exactly in the dark.
The dahlias, growing from bare bulbs which I bought at Wal-mart this spring, are about six inches high and have lots of healthy looking leaves, but have no hint of a flower. When I visited the local show garden I realized just how pathetic they are.
So are they a dead loss? Will planting them in a sunnier spot make a difference next year or is the problem perhaps the soil which I did not amend very much before I planted them? My bearded irises didn't flower, but my daffodils and Brodiaea did just fine in the same soil.
All suggestions for what to do next year are greatly appreciated. I want dahlia blooms!
-- Jenny
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Jenny wrote:

Jenny,
Quite frankly, if you want good varieties of Dahlias you shouldn't be buying them at Wal-Mart. There are many mail order dealers that will sell you "named" varieties so you know exactly what you will get and when how long they take to bloom.
There are many varieties of Dahlias and some take over 4 months before they bloom. Do you know what variety they are? I would just let them alone and feed them every couple of weeks and you should see some blooms.
Dahlias do their best in a area with full sun but I have some in an area with only 6 hours of sun and they bloom quite well. I don't start feeding them until they are about eight inches tall.
Until yours bloom, you can enjoy pictures of mine from my web site, http://members.iglou.com/brosen/dahlias1.htm I have over 60 of them this year.
--
Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)

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Could you give me the name of the one top right corner of your link.... the yellow and pink one..... that's the one I discovered by accident... I lost it a few years back when I didn't get around to digging them up. Thank you in advance. Colleen Zone 5 CT

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GrampysGurl wrote:

Colleen,
Its name is "Tropical Sunset" and I purchased it at a local garden store. Some blooms have more yellow in the center and as it blooms the petals are more orange than pink.
--
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less
getting
spring,
have
but
I have some small dahlias, "Figero mix" in a bed that lines my driveway. There is a distance difference in the growth rate between the ones in direct sun and the ones that get shade from my maple tree. They have just begun to flower heavily this week. I also have some cactus flowering dahlias that are over six feet tall and growing. They are planted in an area that gets partial sun and are doing quite well. I would keep them evenly most and apply some fertilizer. I use 12-12-12 on mine but a water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Grow would be fine also. The temperatures have just started to be in the 80s consistently here. The annuals have really started to grow. Only two varieties of cannas are blooming so far. Your plants may quickly take off as it warms up.
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When did you start them? Mine are about the same size but I started them later then usual and have just begun to bloom.... I would let them grow, mine get a fair bit of shade and still bloom wonderfully. I am not sure where you are located but here we dig them up in the winter and plant in the spring.... they can be started indoors a little earlier if you put them in pots. Other then the digging up and replanting every year these are very easy wonderful flowers to grow. Dead head, dead head, dead head once it does start to bloom to keep a good continual bloom on the plant.. they bloom right through to the first hard frost. Can you tell they are one of my favorites???? I discovered them totally by accident. Colleen Zone 5 CT
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Dahilas bloom in the fall if planted right. Look for blooms by Sept.

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I must not be planting mine right. They have been blooming for weeks.
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starlord wrote:

I don't know where you are but here, in the mid-west area of the U. S., Dahlias can be planted in the ground in late March and, depending on the variety, usually start blooming in late June. The larger (often called dinnerplate varieties) usually start blooming in July (sometimes early August if they were planted latter). In my area Dahlias usually bloom their "best" in early fall after the weather cools down. The problem is that sometimes we have an early frost and, of course, that is the end of the Dahlias. That is why I like to start them early (inside) so we have more time to enjoy them.
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I am on the Dahlia-net list and I read all the time about blooms in fall and that's also when the shows are held too.

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starlord wrote:

That is fine but it is still too general a statement and isn't true for all areas. I grow a lot of them, and in my area, MOST of them are blooming now.
As for Dahlia shows, in my area, they are in August. You have to remember that this newsgroup is read in a lot of countries and what is true for growing things in one area may not apply to another area.
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I'm zone 5 Connecticut and I usually plant early April and have blooms from late June through the first hard frost. If I took the time to plant them indoors they would hold their bloom all season. One of the reasons I like them in the garden is I am guaranteed continuos color all year if I'm good about dead heading. I planted mine late this year around Mother's Day and they are starting to bloom now. I don't do anything special for my plants other then leaf mulch and watering only when it hasn't rained in a couple weeks if even then it depends on if the plants are stressed or not. I use no chemicals and depend on birds and other insects to keep pests in check here. I think Mother Nature has a pretty good system all on her own and I try to not interfere too much with it :o) Colleen Zone 5 Connecticut
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