Monthly Archives: February 2015

Do I Need to Dig Up My Dahlias Here in Florida?

Barbara’s Question About Dahlias:  Barbara G-H. moved here from New York where dahlias have to be dug up every autumn, stored over the winter, and replanted each spring.  At lunch after a golf outing, she was telling me about her dahlias that had become quite ragged-looking last summer, and how she and her husband had pulled them up and trashed them.  She asked about growing them here in central Florida:

Dahlia - Pink

This photo by “criminalatt” can be found at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Answer:  Most likely, Barbara’s dahlias were suffering from the heat and periods of dryness we experienced last summer. Here in Zone 9-A (central Florida), dahlias can be left in place year-round. They will likely suffer during times of extreme heat, but if they begin to look too badly, they can be cut back. When the heat wave is over, they will perk up and begin to bloom again. I have not grown them here, so I don’t know for sure whether they will die down during the winter, but probably not, because my geraniums don’t and they are just as tender as dahlias.

I had beautiful red dahlias when we lived in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, much farther north than we are here in Florida. There, of course, the dahlias died down every winter, and came back every spring. Barbara was disappointed to learn that she could have simply trimmed off the ragged part of the plants, and waited for them to put out new growth. I wish we had had our conversation a month or so earlier — her dahlias could have been saved.

Here’s another beautiful dahlia, photo by:  Mister GC:

Dahlia - Purple

Mister GC’s photo can be found at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

I’ve Been Away Too Long, But I’m Back to Gardening Now

I  have been sick, but I’m back to writing and blogging.  Meanwhile, for my friends farther north, here are some of the flowers blooming in my yard now:

Azalea, Pink & White

I bought this white Encore azalea about a year ago. Last fall, I noticed some tiny white stripes in the flowers. It appeared as if someone had brushed across the petals with a tiny artists’ brush. This year, the plant still has mostly white flowers, but has two pink flowers, with buds that hint of more pink to come.

 

Vinca - Hot Pink

This one little vinca plant is a volunteer that came up from seed dropped by last summer’s flowers. It is near our front door, and is bright and cheerful. I have a lot of white vinca growing in the back yard, but this is the only pink one.

 

Poinsettia, pink - florettes, MLM 1

The poinsettias are still blooming, too.

SunPatiens - MLM1

This is the only one of my New Guinea impatiens that survived the heat last summer. It has never stopped blooming. I just noticed that all my flowers are some shade of white or pink. There are some bright yellow marigolds that have come up from seed dropped last fall, but I don’t have photos of them yet.

The Sad Sob Story:

Last fall, my husband, Bo, and I left on a trip to tour the New England states. Unfortunately, I got bronchitis, and we had to cut our trip short, and return earlier than planned. In a few weeks I got better, then relapsed, and was sick for quite a while. My husband got sick, too, and even our little dog, C.C., got a case of kennel cough.

I’m back now and ready to answer your gardening questions, and to share photos of my plants, and of interesting plants that I see around our town. While on our trip, we did see some of New England, and I did take some nice photos, which I shared on my blog, Down Hibiscus Lane. I have been away from that blog, too, so I will be posting more photos of New England soon.