All About Dahlias How to Plant Dahlia Flowers


How to Plant Dahlia Flowers Transcript

Hi, I’m Cheryl Karpeichik and I’m the head gardener here at White Flower Farm. Today we’re going to talk about Dahlias. Each year here at the farm we trial 10–12 varieties that are new to us. We plant them and throughout the summer we evaluate them as to performance, color and form. We do this process in order to provide for our customers a diverse selection of dahlias from which to choose. Perhaps the most familiar type is the decorative flower form. This pretty yellow one is called Trudy’s Favorite. This maroon one is called Karma Choc. And this pink one is called Ecstasy. Many of the decorative ones are double and have petals arranged in a neat fashion. As you can see these blossoms are about 3 inches across which is a typical size for a decorative dahlia. But the decorative form also include much l larger flowers. This is an example of a less formal decorative, and it’s called Bella Barmera. You can see it’s about 8 inches across and it has more of a free form to it than decorative forms we looked at before. Many people are familiar with what we call dinner plate dahlias, and they are also decorative dahlias. Kelvin Floodlight is this beautiful dahlia behind me, and you can see it’s about 10 inches across. Within the decorative form of dahlias you have quite an array of different flowers. Here are a few more dahlia forms which I’d like to share with you. This is called the ball form and this variety is called Franz Kafka. The cactus form…..this is Black Wizard….and you can see the petals have sort of a point on them. That’s why they give them the cactus description. This is the Bishop of Llandaff, which is a semi-double, anemone form. And perhaps most interesting in our trials this season is a variety called Honka. It is classified as an Orchid type Dahlia. It’s pretty interesting. This is what a bareroot dahlia tuber looks like. When you receive your tuber in the mail, you need to examine the tuber and figure out which end is the top end. Examine the tuber and you’ll see last year’s old stock. As soon as the soil in your area is warm enough to work, you can plant the tuber directly into the garden. Dig a hole large enough to cover the size of the tuber, place the tuber in the ground, cover it with dirt, and in about 4 weeks the dahlia will start to grow. Here at the nursery I actually start my tubers ahead of time indoors. You can plant it in the garden and you’ll have a plant already growing. If you plant the tubers in the garden, you’ll have a bare spot for about a month. Dahlias range in height from 12 inches to 4 feet or taller. It’s important to stake plants that get to 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall. As the plants start to set bud and bloom, they become a little top heavy. Rain, wind and gravity can wreak havoc on your dahlia plant, with stems leaning over and breaking off. There are many different ways to stake your dahlia. One solution is using a bamboo cane and some twine. Place the stake securely in the ground behind the dahlia plant. Make sure it is in the dirt, and does not hit the tuber. Take the twine and tie each stem of the dahlia plant to the stake. Tie the twine around the stem, make a cross and then tie the twine around the stake in a knot. Tie all the stems to the stake and make sure they’re secure. If the plant is very large you may need more than one stake for a plant. As the flowers go by it’s important to cut them off. Deadheading causes more flowers to grow and also improves the overall look of the plant. Dahlias add a splash of color into your garden all summer long and even into early fall. The Dahlias here really hit their stride in late August into early September. A dahlia in full bloom can take your breath away. They’re simply beautiful.

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