How To Grow Dahlias

Grow Dahlias

How To Grow Dahlias
 Dahlias Flowers
Exhibition Dahlias do not just happen… they are grown. The physical condition and fertility of the soil have more to do with success in how to grow dahlias like those large beauties that we see in the show room than any other factor in their culture. If you follow these dahlia growing tips you, too, can have these beauties as well.

We frequently read that "dahlias will do well in most any well-drained soil" and "are easy to grow from tubers and bulbs." These statements are absolutely true, but they will not grow to perfection without persistent and constant attention to a fertility program suited to their requirements. The soil needs and method of culture make the home vegetable garden the most suitable place for growing dahlias.

Assuming that the soil is well drained, from a sandy type to a heavy clay, the first requirement is to check the pH of the soil or have it checked by your county agent or a private laboratory which specializes in this service. Many state universities will also test a soil sample for you, free of charge or for a small fee.

The soil should have a slight acidity, that is, a pH of about 6.5. If it is lower than this or more acid, an application of agricultural grade magnesium limestone should be broadcast on the soil. This may be applied at almost any time of the year, the sooner the better. A rule of thumb for maintaining proper acidity in the soils of the Northeast is to apply 25 pounds of magnesium limestone per thousand square feet once every three years.

A very considerable amount of organic matter is necessary in the soil to provide the proper nutrients and moisture-holding capacity that maintain a steady, firm, healthy growth. A heavy application of barnyard manure, either cow or horse manure, applied about 2 or 3 inches deep on the soil during each winter provides the ideal treatment.

In the absence of manure, grow a rye cover crop and also broadcast old hay straw, garbage, sawdust shavings or peat moss on the dahlia plot to a depth of 2 or 3 inches. During the middle of April broadcast an application of 25 pounds of 5-10-10 or 15 pounds of 8-16-16 per thousand square feet and plow it under. We often broadcast 50 pounds of bone meal per thousand square feet and plow or spade the patch once again just before planting time.

The plants and roots are set out about June 1. Two double handfuls of peat moss is the only material that is mixed with the soil in the hole for the plant or root. If the weather is extremely dry a thorough irrigation is made about once a week.

Pinch out the centers of the plants after they have developed three pairs of leaves. This will encourage the plant to branch and make a sturdier growth. Weekly applications of insecticides may be necessary to control leaf hoppers and the tarnished plant bug.

The soil is cultivated weekly until July 15 at which time the first side dressing with a 5-10-10 fertilizer is made, about two handfuls to each plant. Place the fertilizer in a band around the plant, not closer than 8 inches or more than 18 inches from the base of the stalk.

About this time mulch the soil between the plants with 2 or 3 inches of straw, old hay or peat moss. It is very important now to supply water through irrigation if it doesn’t come naturally; about 3/4 of an inch, twice a week, is necessary from now on.

The developing lateral branches should be tied to a stake with soft heavy twine to prevent wind damage. Repeat the side dressing with 5-10-10 fertilizer on August 1 and again on August 15. It is applied on top of the mulch. The fertilizer elements are soluble and will be carried by moisture down to the feeder roots which by this time are near the top of the soil and even growing into the mulch.

All successful exhibitors obtain better stems and larger flower blooms by disbudding. Leave the single, large center terminal buds to develop into flowers but remove the small side buds and sprouts above leaves from each large lateral branch except for the pair of leaves at the base of each branch.

At the expense of this dahlia gardening tips repetition it should be remembered that special attention must be paid to irrigation from the time the developing bud is the size of a pea until it has opened in all its glory, fulfilling our fondest expectations. Why, I can picture those 10-and 12-inch beauties even now!

Dahlia Flowers In Pots

When the plants get top heavy they can be transplanted into the “ultimate” pot and everything can be placed outdoors in late May when the weather is warmer. Or the peat pots and dahlias can get planted into the ground as well.

Dahlia ‘Mystic Dreamer’

‘Mystic Dreamer‘ is ideal for tropical or perennial garden borders or as a great performer in pots and planters on the patio deck. Best performance in full sun and well drained soil. Hardy to 30F.

From Dahlia Storage to Rooting Cuttings for More: How to Propagate

Mix theses ingredients thoroughly and then fill some plastic cell trays or 12.5cm wide pots with it. Firm the rooting medium in the containers and water with a watering can fitted with a fine rose.

Dahlias In Containers

There were a couple of other points that came out of this trial of container grown dahlias. There was no watering system set up, no drip nozzles so that the pots could be easily watered at the turn of a tap.

In The Garden: Meconopsis Seeds & Dahlia Bulbs

If you follow my blog you may know that I have the rule of thumb to not start seedlings indoors, for various reasons. But sometimes things change.

Overwintering Dahlia Tubers In Frost Prone Areas

Dahlia seeds are available in a limited range of varieties. However, since dahlias don’t breed true from seed, most varieties are normally sold as tubers (some people know them as dahlia bulbs) or pot grown cuttings.

Dahlia Seeds

I have taken the dahlia seeds from the spent flower heads for the first time this year ( didn`t know that was possible until this year, read it somewhere ). If I remember correctly you get variations of flowers from the seeds.

Dahlia In Containers

Dahlias are not the first flower you think about when looking for container plants. The large flowers from tuberous roots are very thirsty, very hungry and can grow 4-6 feet tall.

Discover The True Meaning Of Flowers With Flower Power Dahlia

The smaller types of dahlias are excellent for growing in patio containers, so even a small space gardening is not an excuse for growing these beautiful flowers.

Ordering Dahlia Tubers

In many climates—those that experience any degree of harsh winter—the dahlia tubers must be dug up and stored during the cold months. This is really no big deal if you get in the habit, but they do take away the “effortless garden”.


This bulb or tuber plant has an incredible show of flowers in any color and shape. Flowers all summer and great for cutting.

Top Tips for Overwintering Dahlia Tubers

It’s necessary to keep dahlia tubers alive over winter if you want to take cuttings from them next spring. To do this you need to know how to lift and store them.

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