There’s probably no flowering plant that comes in more sizes, color and styles then the Dahlia. Once you grow one you will want to grow a different one every year. They range from miniature border varieties to huge dinnerplates, which can get up to 5 feet tall and bloom with flowers 10 or 12 inches across. Wait to plant your dahlia tubers until the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees. Choose a sight where they receive at least 6-8 hours of full sun a day and protection from the wind. Dahlias thrive in rich, well drained soil. Avoid buying tubers that appear wrinkled or rotten. A little bit of green growth is a good sign. Don’t break or cut tubers like you would potatoes. Plant them whole, with the growing points, or “eyes” facing up, about 6 to 8 inches deep. The crowns should be just above soil level.
Tall, large flowered cultivars will need support. Place stakes [5 to 6 feet tall] around plants at planting time and tie stems to them as they grow. Dahlias start to bloom about 8 weeks after planting, starting mid to end of July. Starting tubers indoors a month ahead to get a jump on the season. Do not water the tubers right after planting, this encourages rot. Wait until the sprouts have appeared above the soil to water. Dahlias enjoy regular feedings with a low nitrogen fertilizer such as a 5-10-10 or 10-20-20 every couple of weeks. Deadhead regularly for continuous blooms. Dahlias can be grown as container plants but the pot needs to 12 to14 inches in diameter, and support is needed. They are a favorite for slugs and it is a good idea for treat early for powdery mildew before it can become a problem. With that in mind, what’s stopping you from adding the dahlia to your summer garden. You won’t regret it!
Now over 20 varieties of dahlia tubers available in our collection at Caans!
See you soon,
Blooming Barb