Dahlia

Dahlias are members of the Asteraceae family and are native to Central America. They were bred in Europe in the 1800s and became popular in the Victorian era. They come in many colours and have different bloom times. They are a great addition to any garden because they don't need any special care and are drought tolerant.

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Why buy an Dahlia?

Fresh Dahlia blooms are amazing to see. You can also treat your plants to fresh-cut flowers. Dahlias have high foliage and thick stems, which will add height and interest to your garden. They have wonderful shapes and colours including classic, semi-precious and exotic colours.

Dahlias come in shades of pink, red, yellow, orange, white, purple and more. It is difficult to get bored with the variety of colours available. Dahlias are most attractive when in a container. They have bloom spikes that can be seen from up to a block away, so pots are a great place to grow them.

Where to plant Dahlia

The best place for a Dahlia is in a pot. Dahlias do best in partial shade. Plant Dahlias 6 to 8 inches deep. Dahlias do well in deep clay soil. Plant Dahlias early to allow them time to establish their roots. Dahlias are tough so they should be hardy in the area where they are planted. Dahlias prefer to be in areas where it is warm in the spring and have enough rain to overwinter.

To help ensure they are hardy, plant the Dahlias with only as much water as they require, and don't over-water them. Give them room for new roots to develop, and not much room for the stem to grow. Protect the stems from cold weather by wrapping the stems with a few inches of fine twine, string, or other hard material.

How to care for this plant?

Buy in the spring so that it will have time to set buds and bloom. Recommended watering times: rain and/or steam heat – eight to 12 hours a day. A good mulching material to use for your dahlias is compost. Recommended potting soil for dahlias is a 30-50 per cent quality potting mix.

Place a plastic pot liner over the dirt when planting. Propagate from leaves, cuttings or stem cuttings. Plant dahlias directly into the ground. Fill a shallow bucket with soil and insert dahlias stems into the bucket. Keep the soil moist and place plants in a shaded location for up to two months. Remove spent flowers as soon as they appear. Cut each flower so it will dry in one piece. Store the dried flowers until ready to use.

Origin of Dahlia

By the early 18th century, European flower breeders were breeding dahlias. The best-known variety was the Sempervivum Dahlia. It was grown and introduced to Europe by the plant breeder Pietro Maria Senilleri.

People used dahlias for decorating the graves of loved ones. The flowers were gathered in the fall. They were first cultivated in France. Later, dahlias were introduced to America. The name became popular during the Victorian era.

Tips for your Dahlia

Pick the best time to plant. Your plant needs warm weather, well-drained soil, and warm temperatures for the best bloom and colour. Prepare the soil. If your soil is sandy, add a thick layer of compost, charcoal, or rotted manure. If your soil is clay, don't add any charcoal or manure. Water the soil before planting and once a week during the summer.

Be sure to pinch off your blooms to keep the plant dormant during the winter. Feed the plants with organic vegetable fertilizer in the spring. Or use a natural feed called Check It. Store the plants in a cool, dark, and dry place from late winter to early spring. Use heat tape or pop up the lids on your containers when not in use.