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  • Author or Editor: Taylor Bowers x
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Dahlias (Dahlia ×hybrida) are a popular cut flower for local production in the northeastern United States. However, there are more than 20,000 cultivars to choose from, and the suitability of these cultivars as cut flowers varies regionally. Fourteen dahlia cultivars were grown in Orono, ME, USA: Blizzard, Burlesca, Café au Lait, Café au Lait Rose, Clearview Daniel, Cornel, Cornel Bronze, Ivanetti, Lollipop, Neon Splendor, Rock Run Ashley, Sunspot, Tanjoh, and Tempest. These cultivars were selected after interviews with local dahlia growers. These cultivars all produced similar numbers of flowers, but they differed in the time to form flowers, stem length, and stem diameter. ‘Rock Run Ashley’ was the earliest to begin flowering, at 35 days earlier than ‘Tempest’ and ‘Café au Lait’, which flowered last. ‘Blizzard’ and ‘Tempest’ had the longest stems and ‘Lollipop’ had the shortest stems. Growers may want to choose ‘Rock Run Ashley’ if they need flowers earlier in the season, or ‘Blizzard’ or ‘Tempest’ if a longer stem length is desired. During a second study, we harvested field-grown flowers of ‘Burlesca’, ‘Cornel’, and ‘Ivanetti’ and treated them with deionized water or one of two commercial holding solutions. Holding solutions did not extend the vase life of ‘Burlesca’ or ‘Ivanetti’, but they increased the vase life of ‘Cornel’ by 4 or 5 days.

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