Dahlias are tuberous rooted, perennial plants that have their genesis in Mexico and Central America. Read more to learn about this.
The growth period of the flower is mid-summer (late June) to winter (early December). Dahlias have leafy stems and the best part of growing dahlias is their fuss-free maintenance. What makes dahlias stand out in the crowd of several other beautiful flowers is its sheer color play. Although a white rose might be the symbol of refined classiness, dahlias’ prowess to beautify the garden makes it a cultivator’s friendly flower. In fact the posture of the dahlia plant is like a ballerina doing a pirouette.
It has been found that dahlias experience natural healthy growth in frost-free environmental conditions. Even though sub-zero temperatures are incompatible for their growth, the plant can grow in frosty areas if the tubers are plucked timely and stored at cool temperatures. Make note that the compost should be moist. Tubers are often mistakenly referred to as bulbs.
Useful Tips to Grow Dahlias:
• If there is a space limitation in your house then dahlias can be grown in pots, patios, balconies or in small back yards. Dahlias can also grow under shade cloth.
• There should be adequate spacing between the dahlias so that they can grow without creating mutual space crunch.
• When in active growth, modern dahlia hybrids perform most successfully in well-watered yet free-draining soils, in situations receiving plenty of sunlight.
• Sunlight – Dahlias demand ample amount of sunlight for healthy growth. Around 8 hours of blazing sunlight will lead to an enhanced blooming capacity of the plant.
• Overwatering can cause tubers to rot. Avoid watering the soil till the plant appears.
• Inspect tubers regularly to keep a tab on rotting and discard the ones that have been damaged.
• As dahlias lengthen in size they require support. Use sturdy wooden stakes that straighten the otherwise reclining tall dahlias. Also, keep some twine in handy for when the time to support the stems comes nigh.
• Cut down foliage and use a fork to carefully wrench plants out of the soil.
• In case of bedding dahlias, you need not opt for staking or disbudding. All you need to do, is lift out the growing point to allow the bush to spread out. Pinch the centre shoot just above the third set of leaves.
• For giant blooms, restrict the number of flowering stems to three to five per plant. In case of smaller blooms, allow seven to 10 flowering stems per plant.
• If you want to use the dahlias for adding aesthetic value to your garden or your home, go ahead! Choose whole stems and try to maintain the basic shape of your plant. It will quickly try to substitute the removed branch and the buds will keep coming.
• A sorry state of flowering is an outcome of overfeeding of fertilizers, lack of sufficient sunlight and poor water supply. Please try and avoid this.
• Dahlias can successfully grow from cuttings as it would grow from a tuber provided that the other imperatives are met with. In addition to it, growing dahlias from cuttings can multiply the stock at a quicker pace.
• You can break the monotony of a linear bed of dahlias by having roses alternatively. But, ensure that it has a 1 m gap so as to neutralize the competition for fertilizers.
• Digging and segmentation of tubers should be carried out as an annual activity. This is aimed at preventing the rotting of tubers due to clumping.
• Slugs, mites and snails are some of the pests that pose a potent threat to dahlias. Tackle the problem by baiting the slugs and snails with a mug of beer (to which they are attracted to.. no surprises!) twice a week after planting and for the mites, sprays are an effective solution. Overall, you don’t have to worry much about the protection of your dahlias.
This constitution / manual guide should serve as your useful tips to grow dahlias as well as to be aware of what not to do to hinder their proper development. Before you step into the market, a quick glance at these ‘useful tips to grow dahlias’ will help you enliven your garden with vibrant and healthy dahlias. Happy gardening folks!