With a large number of different colors, shapes & sizes, Dahlias bring life & beauty back to your scenery in late summer and into the fall months. The variety of the Dahlia allow you to use them in many special aspects of your landscape design, from low growing border plants to grand background plantings that may reach 6 feet in height. Dahlias make outstanding cut flowers, which will typically last about a week in the house.
Dahlias are summer blooming tubers that are usually only hardy in. In most of the country, Dahlias have to be planted each spring & then cut back and dug each fall after the first killing frost. Dahlia plants grow & bloom best in full sun. Dahlias stand most soil types, but prefer a sandy, well drained, somewhat acidic soil with a pH of 6.2- 6.5. If your soil is heavy or clay, adding sand & peat moss will help to lighten it. Water established Dahlias thoroughly & deeply once a week. Water more frequently if it is very hot. Dahlias in bud or bloom are heavy feeders, so you may begin feeding them monthly; beginning a month before they begin to set buds using water soluble, flower type fertilizer.
Dahlia tubers must not be planted until all danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature reaches 58°-60° F. Excessively wet soil may cause the tubers to decompose so if your weather has been wet & stormy, you may want to wait for a drying trend. Dig & prepare a twelve inch diameter by twelve inch deep planting hole. Mix a spade full of compost, a handful of bone meal & a little Dolomite lime to the soil that was removed.
Fill up the planting hole with the soil blend until it is about six inches deep. Then place the Dahlia tuber level in the bottom of the hole with the look at pointing upward. Tall varieties of Dahlias will need staking, so it’s a good time to set an appropriate size stake into the ground next to the tuber, near the eye. This will avoid damage to the tuber which can result if it is added after the tuber has begun to grow.