Dahlia Care Meaning and Reproduction
Dahlia is a genus of bushy, tuberous,
herbaceous perennial plants native to Mexico and Central America.
A member of the Compositae family of dicotyledonous plants,
its garden relatives thus include the sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum, and zinnia.
It requires fertile, moist but well-drained soil, and a sunny, sheltered spot.
The taller varieties need staking.
In autumn, dig up the tubers and overwinter them in a frost-free place,
such as a greenhouse or a shed.
Bring them back into growth in early April, then plant them out in the garden from May onwards.
Do dahlias like sun?
How long will dahlias last?
Dahlias can bloom for four months if you prune them properly.
When should dahlias be cut back?
Do dahlias need lots of water?
Where do dahlias grow best?
What is the reproduction of a dahlia?
How to Care for Dahlias
Dahlias are lovely spring and summer flowers that are moderately easy to grow and perfect for those who want a colorful addition to their garden. However, they are sensitive to cold temperatures and require full sunlight so it’s important to keep a close eye on them, especially in the early stages of growth.
Dahlias require at least six to eight hours of full sunlight a day. If you live in a hotter climate, be sure to place them in a partially shaded area during peak afternoon hours to avoid burning the plant.
Dahlias, unlike many other flowers, do not require a lot of water. If you live in an area where there’s summer rainfall, that usually is enough for the plant to survive. Otherwise, water deeply once or twice a week. You’ll want to make sure that the soil is always moist — if you notice that the top layer is dry, that’s a sign that the plant is in need of water.
Soil temperature is key to the healthy growth of dahlias. Be sure to plant these flowers in ground temperatures of 60°F or warmer (you can check with a metal thermometer). Keep in mind that dahlias tend to struggle in cold soil (less than 50°F) so you’ll want to wait until spring or early summer to plant them.
Though dahlias are not severely toxic to pets, you’ll still want to keep these blooms away from your furry friends as they can cause unpleasant symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. If you plan on planting your dahlias in the garden or keeping them in a vase, be mindful about placement if you have a curious pet at home.
Pests & Problems
Pests: Dahlias tend to attract earwigs, thrips and caterpillars. They also are a delicacy for slugs, who like to feed on dahlias when the plant is young and small. If you have a slug problem, you may want to reconsider planting dahlias or find a new spot for them that is slug-free.
Problems: Like many plants, dahlias are prone to fungal diseases, including powdery mildew which is common in warm and dry climates. This can be identified when your plant has white, dusty splotches of powder on the leaves. To treat this, you can do one of two things: trim off the infected portions of the plant or apply a caterpillar.
Repotting & Propagation
Repotting: Repotting dahlia tubers (thickened, underground part of the stem) should be done in early spring, about eight weeks before the last frost. This gives the plant a head start, allowing it to develop full, healthy blooms by summertime.
Propagation: Dahlias can be propagated from seeds, tubers, or cuttings. If you choose to propagate with cuttings, be sure to snip off the lowest set of leaves and stick them in a pot of soil with good drainage. Keep the pot warm and moist and you’ll begin to see the cutting take root within a few weeks.
Types of Dahlias
There are over 42 types and varieties of dahlias that range in size, color, and texture.
While widely known for their vivid colors and tightly grouped florets,
there are varieties that have different and unique shapes to fit any garden aesthetic.
Below are some of the most popular dahlia flower varieties.
As the largest category of dahlias,
it comes as no surprise that these gorgeous blooms can be found in a wide variety of shapes and colors.
Decorative dahlias can be either formal or informal,
formal flowers have evenly placed petals while informal ones have flat petals that are irregularly placed.
Pompon dahlias are a beautiful and unique sight,
these globe-shaped flowers have small petals that are usually slightly rounded,
at the tips and perfectly arranged around the stem.
These delicate blooms reach a maximum of two inches in diameter.
These dramatic and stunning flowers can be spotted from a mile away due to their spiky petals!
Cactus dahlias are double-flowering and come in a range of sizes and colors their long,
rolled petals are perfect for someone who wants an eye-catching flower in their garden.
These distinct blooms feature large, flat petals that surround a ring of shorter petals.
The smaller petals are often a different color, forming a collar in the middle of the bloom, making them a beautiful addition to any garden.
A few other popular varieties of dahlias include:
These single-flowering blooms have open centers and come in a variety of colors. The petals are often irregularly formed, giving the bloom a fluffy and textured look.
Unlike the orchid flower, this type of dahlia has an open center and long petals.
It can either be a single orchid, featuring one row of petals or a double orchid, with two rows of petals.
These stunning blooms have an outer ring of flat petals surrounded by a dense group of long and tubular petals.
They come in bright and vivid colors, making them the perfect choice for any bouquet.
These pink flowers have double blooms made up of broad and sparse petals.
They’re known for their striking colors and patterns, making it quite an eye-catching bloom!