‘Kick-off’ produces beautiful, lush flowers

Dahlia ‘Kick-off’ is a great pick-me-up for when you’re a little blue.

Whoever dares to say that dahlias are old-fashioned will be banned immediately. There is always room in the garden, on the patio or at the house for a bulb that produces so many different shapes and colours. Dahlia ‘Kick-off’ is a great pick-me-up for when you’re a little blue.

The organisers sought after a new, beautiful dahlia for the inauguration ceremony at the opening of the Holland Dahlia Event. In the Voorhout-based nursery of Arie Koot, they discovered dahlia ‘Kick-Off’, which was still known as number ‘6717’ at the time, boasting among other possible candidates. It was the striking salmon-orange tone and upright flower that landed the variety its victory. As far as Koot is concerned, it could have been any of his other seedlings. “There are so many beautiful products here, one can hardly choose.”

Opulent producer of offsets

Dahlia ‘Kick-off’ falls under the decorative category, its parents are unknown to Koot. “I place all the good mother and father varieties together and see what happens. In this case, it was ‘Kick-Off’.” He did immediately see the potential of this variety. “The shape and colour make ‘Kick-Off’ great for different purposes. It’s not a garden dahlia however, it’s specifically developed for the cut flower market. The plant grows just above a meter. “Kick-Off has a long vase-life and is an opulent producer of offsets, says Koot. “It has sturdy stems and beautiful upright flowers. The flowers should always gaze towards the sky, it will give the most appealing effect.”

Different markets

Koot thinks that this new variety will be a great success in many different markets throughout Europe. “It’s too fragile for airfreight, so we should concentrate on nearer destinations, such as France or the UK.” He is not so sure about Germany. “They prefer brighter colours there.” Whatever happens, he is certain about ‘Kick-Off’s role in hand tieds. “This colour is an excellent complement to the current colour palette. I can imagine many florists welcoming this variety.”

By Monique Ooms
Photographs by René Faas