I’ve been looking forward to this dahlia opening since I saw it at Dahlia Hill in Midland, MI, last summer. Although described as a lavender, I remembered it as a day-glo pink and this could fit both descriptions, sort of. Big and beefy, the petals twist; adding even more interest.
While not completely organic, I do make it a practice never to spray insecticides on blossoming plants to protect bees and other beneficials so you will see the occasional hole or half eaten petal. One
morning though I came out to a just-opening Kidd’s Climax with a hole that looked like it had been gouged out with a sharp ice cream scoop. I was looking for caterpillars and instead, found several huge Katydids with enough droppings nearby to convince me that they were the culprits. They met an abrupt end. I did some research and yes, they do eat dahlias and no, there’s not a good control for them this time of year. There are some that I might try earlier in the year if the problem repeats, but after my search and destroy efforts, I’m not seeing much more damage.
Pooh, and other collarettes are the best for attracting bees as their centers are so open.
Croyden’s Masterpiece is still the very best blend of sunset colors. The first one of these to open this year was also the largest dahlia I’ve ever grown. Not really working at that; I don’t disbud, for example, it’s still awesome to see. I’ve already started labeling the plants that are performing early and well to save only those tubers for next year.
Devon Excel, below, will turn more pink/lavender as it develops. I love the delicacy of these colors.