01 November 2010

Sciency answes: Really big dahlias

David and Connie sent this question:

I have a question about Dahlias. I love the dinnerplate dahlias, but have not been able to find varieties that get 14 inches in diameter or larger. Do you know of any varieties that get that large?

Sadly, I am going to have to say no, I do not know of any dahlias that
get larger than 14 inches.The largest official dahlia size
classification is "AA" which covers anything over 10 inches. I think
about 14 may be about the upper limit when it comes to flower size. But I admit I'm not a dinnerplate dahlia grower, I like them smaller (as you can see in the picture above) if any readers are dahlia nuts who know better, please chime in!
But, if you are interested in giant dahlias of a different sort, you
should check out this post from the amazing Annie on tree dahlias!
These things don't just have big flowers, they are insanely huge plants! My growing season is WAY too short for them, but if I live somewhere warmer I would TOTALLY be growing them.


Cyndy said...

I think the way the show growers get the really big ones is by disbudding and disbranching - removing side buds and branches so all the plant's energy goes into a smaller number of flowers.

Joseph said...

Great point Cyndy... I should have talked about that. Giant dahlias are produced by a combination of choosing the right varieties and proper pruning, fertilizing, etc.