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The garden favorite dahlia is known for its variety of flower shapes. The annual is classified into 14 groups based on blossom type. They come in all colors except the elusive blue. Dahlia plants can be used year after year with only a bit of extra effort because their tuberous roots can be dug up in the fall and replanted in the spring.
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From 1 to 8 feet
1 to 2 feet
garden plans for Dahlia
Dahlias bloom nonstop summer until frost in a rainbow of colors. Cut flowers last several days, making them excellent for bouquets. A few of the most exciting flower types include the cactus form with its needlelike petals and the ball (or pompom) types that have small ball-like blossoms. Dinner plate dahlias are recognized for their blooms the size of a dinner plate. And some cultivars have burgundy foliage that provides a pretty backdrop for the showy flowers.
Dahlia Care Must-Knows
Dahlias grow in the ground or containers. If you purchase them as bare-root tubers, start them indoors early in the spring for a head start on the growing season. To do this: Plant the tubers in a pot of well-drained potting soil about six weeks before the last frost; place the pots in a sunny window and keep warm. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not wet to avoid rot. Once the foliage emerges and the danger of frost has passed, plant in the ground.
When choosing where to use dahlias in the landscape, consider the mature height of the plant. Some large varieties, including the dinner plate dahlia, require staking or tall neighbors to support the heavy flowers. Dwarf and small varieties don't require additional support.
Using a low nitrogen fertilizer further increase their prolific blossoms. Full sun ensures upright plants, can prevent the need for staking, and allows for the best habit and display of blossoms. If planted in shadier areas, the foliage tends to look greener than burgundy.
If you are planning on saving your dahlias for the next growing season, take these steps: About two weeks after the first frost has hit and the foliage has dropped, cut stems off at the ground and dig up the tubers. Be sure to dig carefully because the tubers can be fragile and may break into pieces. Wash excess dirt from roots and allow to dry. Store tubers in slightly damp peat moss or sawdust in a cool, dark place. Come spring, you will have tubers ready to plant for another year of showy flowers.