Dahlias are invaluable for the summer border, in patio containers or as cut flowers, often flowering until the first frosts. With many excellent recent introductions. Dahlia Flowers!
With many excellent recent introductions, they offer a wide range of flower types, often with very showy, double forms in warm vibrant colors. Dahlias are enjoying a much deserved return to popularity.
Don’t be in a hurry to plant. Dahlias will struggle in cold soil. Ground temperature should reach 60°F. Wait until all danger of spring frost is past before planting. Select a planting site with full sun. Dahlias grow more blooms with 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. They love the morning sunlight best.
Choose a location with a bit of protection from the wind. Dahlias thrive in rich, well-drained soil. The pH level of your soil should be 6.5-7.0, slightly acidic.If you have a heavier soil, add in sand, peat moss or bagged steer manure to lighten and loosen the soil texture for better drainage.
Symbolism of the Dahlia Flower!
The Victorians used the Dahlia to signify a lasting bond and commitment between two people. But modern flower lovers can also buy a potted plant as a celebration of joining a new religion or trying a new healthy habit. Dahlia is often considered a birth flower for August. But some traditions use it as a November birth flower instead.
It’s the national flower of Mexico because that it’s native habitat. Some cultures use it to represent diversity since each petal fits seamlessly into the whole head.
Large dahlias range from about 3 to 4 feet tall. The most well-known dahlias in this size range are dinner plate dahlias, known for their 10- to 12-inch-diameter double flowers. These are best grown in the back of perennial borders with other large perennials.
They put on a stunning late-summer and early-fall show, but will require some kind of support to withstand summer winds and rain. Try thick bamboo stakes or whimsical spiral supports.
Summer and Fall Care
Fertilize dahlias monthly with a water-soluble, organic fertilizer that’s formulated for flowers. Avoid using a high-nitrogen fertilizer, or you’ll get lots of green growth with little flowering. Mulch with straw or shredded bark to keep weeds to a minimum and retain moisture.
Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Cut blossoms for indoor flower arrangements and remove old blossoms to encourage more branching and flower production. Despite a relatively short vase life, dahlias make gorgeous bouquets.
Taking Up The Tubers
In cold regions, if you wish to save your plants, you have to dig up the tubers in early fall and store them over the winter. Dahlias may be hardy to USDA Zone 8.
There, they can be left in the ground to overwinter. In areas that get frost, including most parts of Zone 5, a killing frost—or a touch of frost—can help the bulb to shut down/go dormant. See your local frost dates.
Pruning and training dahlias
Insert canes on planting and tie in as growth develops. Pinch out growing tips once plants reach a height of about 40cm (16in) to encourage branching. For giant blooms restrict the number of flowering stems to three to five per plant; for smaller blooms allow seven to 10 flowering stems per plant.
To produce a long-flowering display and strong stems, remove the two pairs of flower buds developing in the leaf axils below the terminal bud. Bedding dahlias need no staking or disbudding; just pinch out the growing tip to encourage bushiness and deadhead regularly.