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Dahlia Flowers

Ningthoujam Sandhyarani Apr 21, 2019
Dahlia flowers are commonly included in landscaping projects, mainly because of their bright-colored and conspicuous blooms. When grown in optimal conditions, these flowers brighten up the landscape from late summer through fall months.
Vibrant colored, showy dahlia flowers are priceless treasures for hobbyists all across the globe. With so many types of true dahlia species and hybrids, you can select cultivars that will complement your garden layout.
Right from dwarf varieties for the flower bed borders to tall plants that create a background for your seasonal flowers, the options for dahlia hybrids are really impressive. Also, you can select white, cream, pink, yellow, orange, red, and burgundy black colored flowers for your garden.

Growing and Caring for Dahlia Flowers

Dahlia share the family Asteraceae with sunflower, gerbera, and daisies. Truly speaking, these plants are perfect for flower lovers, who have little time for uprooting plants every year and replanting new ones.
Being perennial flowering plants, healthy dahlia plants will bloom in every season. If you want to include these show stoppers in your flower garden, here are some useful tips.

Planting Location

For growing these plants, choose sunlit areas of the flower garden or yard. In case of non-availability, a partial shade condition will also work.
Site selection is crucial to ensure that your plants bloom in each flowering season. If at all, you do not have spare land, opt for container gardening of the same in large pots.

Selection of Variety

Choosing the suitable cultivar for your flower garden is another important aspect in the development of large flowers. The plant height ranges from 12 inches to as tall as 6 feet and more, while the bloom diameter could be 2 inches to 1 foot.
However, while purchasing bulbs, do not just look at the height, flower color, and bloom size, but inquire about the hardiness of the cultivars and their adaptability in your region.

Preparation of Soil

Provided that the soil is free of drainage problems, these flowers can tolerate different soil types. If available, it is best to grow them in fertile soils having slightly acidic pH range (preferably between pH 6.2-6.5).
For heavy garden soil, mix them with adequate amounts of peat moss, sandy soil, bone meal, and humus forming plant components. Likewise, prepare well-drained and slightly acidic potting media.

Growing Dahlia Bulbs

The best time for planting dahlia bulbs is spring time (April or May), when the environmental temperature falls between 60-70° F. Dig holes about 10 inch deep, and add the required soil components as stated here.
Mix properly and place the bulb 6 inch deep, with the bulb eye facing upwards. Refill and gently press the soil. To grow them from seeds, first sow them in flower beds and transplant later.

Taking Care

Deep watering, once or twice a week, is suggested for first few weeks after planting bulbs. If you have planted them after frosting is over, tubers will sprout and young shoot will develop.
When the new shoot attains the height of 1 foot, pinch it off to induce a bushy growth habit, or remove the side branches for development of larger flowers.

Winter Storage of Bulbs

Except for those in USDA zones 7-11, dahlia bulb storage in winter is a necessity as underground tubers are very sensitive to extreme cold temperature. Keeping them in soil may cause rotting of fleshy part, and death of the plants.

Dahlia Plant Problems

As far as the problems are concerned, you should have a keen eye to watch over earwigs that feed voraciously on tender petals. Common diseases that attack the plant parts are root rot, crown rot, downy mildew, mold growth, mosaic virus. Garden pests that are destructive for dahlia flowers are aphids, slugs, red spider mites, onion thrips, and leaf hopper.
So, plant dahlia bulbs, follow simple plant care tips, and nothing can stop you from appreciating the lovely blooms. What's more, they are some of the best cut flowers that have a long shelf life.