Dahlia is one of those plants with endless flower classifications. Some are single, like daisies. Some are like round balls others are “Cactus-Flowered”, “Orchid-Flower” and “anemone-Flowered” or “peony-flowered” (why do flowers have to look like some other flower. The flowers can be as small as an inch across and as large as 12 inches. If you’re growing exhibition size ones. Heights range from one to seven feet.
There are a large range of colors, roughly the same as that of chrysanthemums. The thing I like about dahlias is they’re blooming period. Which goes from midsummer to the first frost or a bit after. I use them to add some showy late bloom to perennial borders. But they are also very effective grown in beds by themselves. They are colorful and long-lasting as cut flowers.
Grow dahlias in full sun or light shade in a soil rich. So, in organic matter and nutrients especially phosphorus and potassium. Moreover, add some lime if your soil is very acid. Dahlias have tuberous roots that must be dug up and stored over the winter in zones. where they are frost, a chore that is not much of a bother once you get into the routine.
I order new dahlia roots by mail and plant them about a week before the date of the last average frost. Then laying them horizontally in a hole six to eight inches deep. If you’re planting a tall variety, then put a five-foot bamboo stake next to the root and stick it firmly into the ground. If you stake later on you run the risk of piercing the roots.
The root should be covered with a few inches of soil. As the plant grows, the rest of the hole can be filled. When the stems become tall, tie them to the stakes if you want shorter, bushier plants, pinch them why they are ten to twelve inches tall. Pinching is less important with the short varieties. Deadhead the plants for more profuse bloom, and water them deeply during drought or they’ll not bloom. Well, after the first few frost gently dig up the roots with a digging fork, cutting the stems back to a few inches.
Dahlia has found that storing in a cool cellar (ideally 35 to 45 degrees) in a tray of peat is a good way to hold dahlia roots over the winter, but only I protect them against mice with some form of wire mesh. One year you’ll found nothing but trays of peat in spring; the mice had eaten every speck of the dahlias.
When it is time to replant them in spring you can divide them to increase your stock. Notice that the buds (“eyes”) emerge from the base of the old stem. Slice through the stem vertically with a sharp knife, making sure that each piece of the root has part of the stem attached and at least one eye.
Dahlias can also be propagated from stem cuttings. I’ve gotten a head start on the dahlia season by starting mine in pots indoors in a rich, light soil. The only problem is that pots large enough to hold the roots comfortably take up a lot of space. Also Read: The Sweetly Scented Lily of the Valley
Originally posted 2017-01-21 23:17:27.