Sharon, a couple of questions, Annette, I will respond to you in a minute. Thank you for the kind words of praise, that made me feel good and raised those serotonin levels, hee, hee, now I am flyin', hee, hee 8-) ;) :) :) :) :). I have that green thumb, it actually is a dark green thumb it is so developed, hee, hee. I can see that you are very proud of your work as Mamma to us all with those seeds that you so lovingly sent, that was a wonderful deed!!!
Sharon, forgot this. What is a collarette? What do you mean by decorative. Can you look at the pictures and give me the picture number or something so I know of what you speak? That would be appreciated, and define what those two words meant: collerette, decorative.....
I have pulled the tubers, they are now in my attic, staying dry and cool for the wintertime.
I also have brought several of the older flower heads of the pink ones into my house for drying. The seeds are held in the base of the flower that has swollen as the flower petals have all but dried out and the base bulb has shown, don't really know other how to describe it. I know from seed gathering what to do and I think this is the procedure.
I chose three of the dahlias to keep the seed from, I am a lover of pinks and I chose a double flowered one, a pretty pink one, that is the one of the full plant picture up against my house (those groups of tubers from the particular plant were beyond enormous, I will take a picture of it actually, it blew my socks off!!!), and a beautiful magenta coloured one (that was my favourite).
Now.....my queery here is. How true to the parent will the seed come? Do you know this? I was reading up on dahlias and the site said that sometimes seeds do not fall true to the parent. Can you elaborate a little on this? I need to know. The big pink one against the house will be able to be divided an incredible amount, the tubers were massive.
So, getting onto the tubers. When my division of these tubers in spring, clearly define how each division will be performed. I have not grown dahlias in previous years and I need to know indepth about what is required to set a good plant. I.e., can each tuber provide a new plant, or does it require that several tubers are left attached to part of the original root (is there an original root still there? I don't know this).
So Sharon, baby me along here a little bit. You know we have all wintertime to talk about this, so there is no great hurry.
Annette. This is for you, Sharon may elaborate somewhat upon what I will say.
Do you get a killing frost where you live, Annette. That is my first question. The killing frost with most perennials is a very important part of the life cycle of a perennial. This begins the shut down of nutrients that come from underground through to the plant. Now, we have to bear in mind at the same time, that many places do not have that winter frost kill. I cannot comment an awful lot on that, how people in frost free zones take care of their perennials, because I simply do not know.
IF you get that killing frost, or anticipate it, wait until it occurs. After the leaves have blackened or wilted, cut the foliage right off. Leave a stump above ground, this will remain on the tubers while they are in storage.
Dig the tubers out of the ground. They will lift easily (or fairly easily). Take care to shake as much of the dirt off the tubers, you may even have to gently remove the earth, depending upon the soil type. This tuber is now ready for the winter hibernation. The tubers need to be kept in a reasonably dark, but dry, freezing free spot, like an attic, a garage, an old cupboard, wherever. The key is to keep them dry. This is what you do.
Now, I am not the perfect harbourer of knowledge of how to deal with dahlias, Sharon is that Master, we know that, she is very deeply involved with dahlia production. She may add comments, or correct my comments, (Sharon, if I have given any wrong information, kindly correct, that would be appreciated). So Annette, John, you will have these dahlias to be yours for time and eternity, should you want them to remain with you, you only have to listen, do a little bit of preparation work, for the bounty and beauty of the dahlias that you have been given, enjoy. John, would love to see your pictures, bring 'em on, get out there just before sundown, that does make for very nice lighting when taking pictures, hee, hee......Have that wonderful day, most beautiful day, great health wishes to us all. Cindi