As is our custom, we were browsing the Lowes dead/dying rack for clearance plants a few weeks back. They had bins of clearance bulbs and tubers in plastic packaging, you know how they do. I saw some dinner plate dahlias, three tubers, 75% off original price. I went back and forth over it, knowing I didn't need more plants, feeling like I'd had no success lifting and saving them from year to year. But, since they are my favorite flower, in my favorite flower color, on clearance I bought them.
Because the tubers had put off new growth already but hadn't been exposed to true sunlight, I laid them out in a shady and protected spot in my yard and left them for a few days to acclimate. This weekend, Julian and I had a huge repotting party - I call it a party but it was really just the two of us in the hot and humid weather, repotting everything we could get our hands on to make sure everything is good to go this summer. (We have lots of rose bushes and berry plants in containers that will go with us to the next place, someday.)
While I was knocking around in the garage, I came across two old dried dahlia tubers that I had lifted but never took the time to pack them away. What do you know? They had new growth on them. We potted them up, and my tally of tubers went from 3 to 5.
We also have about 20 amaryllis bulbs that needed repotting as they are getting pretty big - we started them from seed about four years ago and now some of them are finally big enough to bloom. I was running out of pots.
I went up on the uppermost shelf in our garage to grab the last pot that was big enough, and what did I find? Dahlia tubers. I had actually taken care to lift them, dry them, pack them in soil and completely forget about them... and they were growing, right there, on the top shelf of he garage. Dahlia count? We're up to at least 9. I lost count.
1.) take the time to lift and prep the dahlias for the coming year
2.) my clearance purchase was not in vain, because now I may have those peachy-apricot colored dinnerplate dahlias in the coming years as well