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Dahlias are one of our favorite summer flowers. These lovely blooms come in a variety of colors and sizes and they are relatively easy to grow if you follow a few simple tips. They look great in garden beds in large groups, either grouped together in one color palette or mixed for a spectacular rainbow display. Try the beautiful dinner plate dahlias which are, quite literally, the size of a dinner plate!
Dahlias are beautiful and versatile flowers that add a vibrant touch of color to any garden. These stunning blooms come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a popular choice among gardeners and flower enthusiasts. However, growing dahlias can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to gardening.
Read our tips on how to grow and care for dahlias, including information on planting, watering, fertilizing, and more. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to grow healthy and abundant dahlia blooms that will add beauty to your garden for seasons to come.
Five Reasons To Grow Dahlias
- Versatility: Dahlias come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a great choice for any type of garden. Whether you have a small patio garden or a large backyard, you can find a dahlia that will fit your space and style.
- Long Blooming Season: Dahlias are known for their long blooming season, which can last from mid-summer to early fall. This means you can enjoy their vibrant colors for several months, making them a great addition to any garden.
- Low Maintenance: Once established, dahlias are relatively low maintenance. They are drought tolerant and can thrive in a variety of soils, making them a great option for gardeners who want to add beauty without having to spend a lot of time on maintenance.
- Attracts Pollinators: Dahlias are known for attracting pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to the garden. This not only adds to the beauty of your garden but also helps support the ecosystem.
- Cut Flowers: Dahlias make great cut flowers and can be used in a variety of arrangements. With their long stems and large blooms, they are a great option for adding color and interest to your home décor. Whether you’re looking to create a centerpiece for your dinner table or a bouquet for your bedside table, dahlias are a great choice.
Popular Dahlia Varieties
- Cactus Dahlias: These dahlias have long, pointed petals that resemble the spines of a cactus. They are available in a range of colors, including red, orange, yellow, and pink.
- Decorative Dahlias: Decorative dahlias are some of the largest and showiest dahlias available. They have large, round blooms with petals that are often ruffled or frilly. These dahlias come in a range of colors, including red, pink, yellow, and white.
- Ball Dahlias: As the name suggests, ball dahlias have round, ball-shaped blooms that are available in a range of colors, including red, pink, and yellow. They are often used in cut flower arrangements and as garden accents.
- Pompon Dahlias: These dahlias have small, rounded blooms that resemble pom-poms. They are available in a range of colors, including yellow, red, and pink.
- Anemone Dahlias: Anemone dahlias have large, rounded blooms with a central disk surrounded by petals that are often frilly or ruffled. They come in a range of colors, including red, pink, and yellow.
- Collarette Dahlias: These dahlias have a central disk surrounded by petals that are shorter than the central disk. They have a distinctive “collar” of petals around the central disk, giving them their name. Collarette dahlias come in a range of colors, including red, pink, and yellow.
How To Grow Dahlias
1. Plant dahlia tubers after the last frost
Dahlia tubers don’t like frost so wait until the last frost of the season before planting your dahlias. In warmer climates you are will to be able to plant dahlias is late winter. Cold climate areas will usually need to wait until mid-Spring. Dahlia tubers should be planted just below the ground so that the stem is just below the surface.
2. Plant in a sunny position
2. Always plant dahlias in a very sunny, protected spot (an area of the garden that gets at least six hours of sun a day). These sun-loving bulbs don’t grow well in the shade. Also keep your dahlias protected from strong winds once they have started to grow.
3. Only water dahlias once the stems have started to appear above the soil
A multi-purpose fertiliser should also be applied when stems have grown to about 30cm, then follow with a liquid feed every two weeks when the flowers are in bloom. Water regularly during the growing period, particularly in hot climates.
4. Stake long stems
Ensure that taller dahlia varieties are well staked, some varieties can grow quite tall and will be at risk from strong winds.
5. Dig up tubers at the end of the season
Once all of the plant growth has died down and has had enough time to return nutrients to the soil, dig up tubers and store them in a cool, dark place until it’s time to replant them the following spring.
Picking and Arranging Dahlia Flowers
- Pick Flowers in the Morning: Dahlias are best picked in the morning when their petals are fully open and the flowers are at their freshest. This will ensure that the flowers will last longer in a vase.
- Choose Flowers in Full Bloom: When picking dahlias, choose flowers that are fully open and in full bloom. Avoid flowers that are just starting to open or are beginning to wilt.
- Cut Stems Long: Cut the stems of your dahlias long, at least 10-12 inches, so that you can arrange them in a vase or bouquet. You can also cut the stems at an angle to help them absorb water more easily.
- Store Flowers in Cool Water: After cutting the stems, immediately place the dahlias in a vase filled with cool water. Change the water every few days to keep the flowers fresh.
- Arrange Flowers in a Tall Vase: When arranging dahlias, use a tall vase to showcase their long stems and large blooms. You can mix and match different varieties and colors of dahlias for a unique and colorful arrangement. Don’t be afraid to play around with different arrangements and find what works best for you and your home.