Dahlia Tubers @ Home Depot - February 2024

Last year, I started to learn how to put together cuttings from our garden into countertop arrangements.  I made a number of them from late Summer to Fall that were primarily anchored by the Disneyland Floribunda roses.   By the end of the season, I came the conclusion that I needed to get outside of my foliage-gardening 'comfort zone' and start to add some flowers.    On a late-season whim (sale), I planted a few new (to me) flowering perennials including May Night salvia, coneflowers and some Agastache 'Blue Fortune' to the front IB2DWs beds.  

I also pulled the trigger on a small dahlia tuber order from Longfield - where I pre-ordered some Melina Fleur (Decorative) and Cornel Bronze (Pompon) tubers.  My (current) plan is to put those in by the Disneyland Roses on the side of the house.    I also bought some Cut-and-Come-Again Zinnia seeds that I'd like to start inside and move to my containers in the back - to replicate the look of a combo of Zinnias and Euphorbia in container last year.  

But, I KNOW that I should do more with dahlias.  One of my 'early look' at a priority reinforces this need to add some flowers, so when I was at the orange big box store recently, I noticed a new display of tubers that they just installed for the growing season.    I didn't buy any of them, but I took a bunch of photos so I could go home and get smart about what is being offered.

Before I run through what I saw, I want to try to talk about what I want:  For cutting, I think I want SMALLER dahlia blooms.  NOT dinner plate ones.  But, in the landscape?  Maybe I should try a dinner plate variety (or two).  But, that's a secondary need.  Let's see what they have right now in the orange big box store greenhouse area of their nursery.

They were selling a number of 'two-packs' of tubers that featured a combo of colors - either contrasting or complimentary.    These were (mostly) four-packs total (two of each variety).  

First was Creme de Cassis Dahlia and Thomas Edison Dahlia tubers. 4 for $15.

Creme de Cassis and Thomas Edison Dahlia Tubers

The Creme de Cassis are described as dark, wine-red 4-6 inch buds with dark centers.  Late summer stars.  Thomas Edison dahlias are almost 100-years-old and were started here in the US - not Europe.  This is a 'dinnerplate' purple flower that is TALL and likely needs to be at the back of the bed. 

Next up is the combo of Tirza Dahlia and Gideon Dahlia tubers:

Tirza Dahlia and Gideon Dahlia Tubers

The Tirza dahlias are smaller orange flowers with dark centers and have dark foliage. Love that. But, there's not a lot of info about them online.  Gideon dahlias are decorative (vs. dinnerplate) that are dark red and about 4" in diameter.  They're under 3' tall, so not too big.  

Below is another purple and orange combo - Lilac Time Dahlia and Prince of Orange Dahlia tubers.

Lilac Time Dahlia and Prince of Orange Dahlia Tubers

The Lilac Time dahlia is described as a 'darker' Thomas Edison dahlia.  It has big, 8" flowers on long stems.  Which...to mean means...staking.  The Prince of Orange dahlia is all dutch and looks like a perfect dahlia...but on the bigger side, too.  

I'm drawn to peach/salmon/oranges in the garden and these Lady Darlene Dahlia and Babylon Red Dahlia tubers kinda fit that bill. 

Lady Darlene Dahlia and Babylon Red Dahlia Tubers

Both of these are HUGE.  10" flowers.  Lady Darlene is descried as "enormous" while Babylon Red's blooms are described as "more than twice the size of most other flowers".    I think that means these are out (for now).  

They also has a few single-variety packs including this Kogane Fubuki Dahlia.  4 tubers for $15.  

Kogane Fubuki Dahlia Tubers

Kogane Fubuki is a medium-sized dahlai with 5" blossoms. That's interesting, right? Not too big. Also, the Japanese-inspired name and what is described as 'remarkable variability' in the colors of these flowers. You can see from the photo that these have yellow centers with pink fringe. Sounds like these come in all sorts of different growth patterns.

Beyond dahlias, they had a few other things - including this elephant ear bulb that has a camouflage pattern on the leaves - named Hilo Beauty Elephant Ear. 1 bulb for $15. That's pretty pricey....

These have black stems.  That's kinda great.  And, the spotted foliage with white splotches sure will make this a container standout.  I normally buy 8 bulbs for $15.  This is 1 for that same price.  

They also have a few Proven Winners packs that blend a few different bulbs/tubers. My read is that these are PACKED with some less desirable bulbs/tubers (Gladiolas) and some more highly-sought-after plants (Pompon Dahlias).

This "Sunset Blend" includes 26 Gladioli - Prince of Orange, 2 Natal Prince Pompon Dahlias and 2 Calla Lillies Zantedeschia Le Reve.  

The pair of Natal Prince Pompon Dahlia tubers are draw (for me) as they produce 2-3" blooms.

Natal Dahlia is a vibrant, crimson red pom pom dahlia that blooms summer into fall. The Natal Dahlia produces abundant blooms that work well in containers, as a border plant and also as a cut flower in arrangements. Each bloom is about 2-3"

The last set of tubers that I saw was this set of 3 un-named Pompon Dahlia tubers for $10.  There's no varieties listed here, so it is a total crapshoot what you get.  

Three for $10 makes this a little bit appealing - the downside is (of course) the unknown.  For the landscape, that risk might be too great, but for cut flowers?  Why not experiment with the unknown, right?

As I mentioned, I didn't buy any of these, but of this set, there are a few that are (for me) worth keeping an eye on:   

The 3 pack of Pompon Dahlias (unknown variety) for $10.
The 4 pack of Kogane Fubaki Dahlia Tubers for $15.
The 4 pack of Tirza and Gideon Dahlia Tubers for $15.  

Part of me is (of course) drawn to adding some of these.  But, I also know that I can't bite off too much this year and with the tubers that I already ordered...shouldn't *that* be enough for this year?  

Remember...beware the lure of the big box nursery, Jake.  


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