Five Tips for Dazzling Dahlias
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., May 18, 2012 – For broad-shouldered, showy blooms that can take the summer heat, you can't beat dahlias. Despite a pop culture reputation for being associated with mystery, there's no secret to growing these hardy plants. Dahlias perform beautifully in the garden or in containers and yield magnificent cut flowers. For these reasons alone, dahlias should be on your garden to-do list this summer.
What variety to plant depends on your expectations of these prolific bloomers. Looking for some garden drama? Select larger-blooming dahlias like decorative or dinnerplate, which can grow up to 5 feet tall and sport blooms 12 inches wide! If it's cut flowers you want, choose smaller-blooming types like mignon, collarette or low growing, with modest blooms of 1 - 4 inches.
Dig.Drop.Done's flower bulb expert Amy Dube offers five tips for growing dazzling dahlias this summer.
- Close up. Dahlias like to be planted close to the surface rather than deep in the ground. Stay mindful of this when planting to achieve optimal results. Two inches depth is ideal.
- Water cautiously. Dahlias don't like to be watered a lot when initially planted. Once their sprouts begin growing, water deeply on a regular basis, two to three times per week.
- Bring on the heat. Dahlias like it hot — the more sun the better! They need a minimum of eight hours a day.
- Deadhead. Remove spent blooms on a regular basis. Plants that are deadheaded produce more blooms than those that aren't. It's best to cut farther down the stalk versus just cutting off the flower head itself.
- Stake out. Stake large-blooming dahlias to support their weight. Set the stake next to the dahlia tuber when planted. That way, you won't damage a growing tuber later in the season.
Dig.Drop.Done™ is a three-year, North American educational campaign to introduce flowering bulbs to a new generation of potential gardeners and demystify the bulb-growing process. Through a website, digital and print advertising, social media and public relations, the campaign will show women just how simple, beautiful and rewarding flowering bulbs can be. Dig.Drop.Done is sponsored by the Dig.Drop.Done Foundation (members of Holland’s Royal trade association for nursery stock and flower bulbs), the International Flower Bulb Centre and Scheepvaart Commissie (Dutch export reserve fund). For more information, visit www.DigDropDone.com.
Mary Leigh Howell