Flower Care Guide – Dahlia flowers are a symbol of grace and kindness, making for a beautiful addition to any garden or home. There are many varieties to choose from, so you’re sure to find a dahlia that appeals to you. With a few simple tips in mind, caring for these special spring flowers is a breeze, especially in the summer!
Below, we’ll cover proper dahlia care, including sun, water, temperature, and other care needs, so you can start nurturing your dahlias. We’ve also included different types of dahlias, some common care questions and a bonus section on dahlia bouquet care.
Flower Care Guide
Dahlias were first recorded by Westerners in 1615 and were originally called Acoctli after their Mexican flower name. They are native to many parts of Mexico and Central America, so it is not unusual for them to thrive in warmer climates. These flowers are considered mid-to-late season blooms, peaking between summer and just before the first frost.
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There are 42 types of dahlias in 14 groups that are all different from each other in shape and size. Many dahlia flowers are either single or double-flowered – single flowers have a distinct center, surrounded by only a few rows of outer petals. Double-flowered varieties, on the other hand, have several rows of petals without an obvious center.
Many professional gardeners consider dahlias to be one of the most attractive and popular flowers. In fact, their beauty goes all the way back in history to when Queen Victoria was alive, who said dahlias were one of her favorite flowers next to violets. Although these vibrant flowers are relatively easy to grow, they are fond of weather and sunlight, so be careful when you first start out.
There are over 42 species and varieties of dahlias that vary in size, color and texture. Although they are widely known for their vibrant colors and tight round flowers, there are varieties that have different and unique shapes that will suit any garden aesthetic. Below are some of the most popular types of dahlia flowers.
As the largest category of dahlias, it is no surprise that these beautiful flowers are available in a wide variety of shapes and colors. Ornamental dahlias can be formal or informal – formal flowers have separate petals, while informal ones have flat petals with irregular spacing.
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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 flowers reach a maximum of two inches in diameter.
These amazing and amazing flowers can be seen a mile away because of their spicy petals! Cactus dahlias are double-flowered 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 special leaflets are large, flat leaflets that surround a circle of shorter leaflets. The smaller petals are often a different color, forming a collar in the center of the flower, making them a great addition to any garden.
Peony: These single flower petals have open centers and come in a variety of colors. The petals are often irregularly shaped, giving the flowers a fluffy and textured look.
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Orchid: Unlike the orchid flower, this type of dahlia has an open center and long petals. It can be a single orchid, with one row of petals or a double orchid, with two rows of petals.
Anemone Flowers: These stunning flowers have an outer ring of flat petals surrounded by a dense cluster of long and tubular petals. They come in bright and vibrant colors, making them a great choice for any bouquet.
Water lily: These pink flowers have double petals made of wide and pointed petals. They are known for their amazing colors and patterns, so it makes for a very attractive bloom!
Dahlias are beautiful spring and summer flowers that are fairly easy to grow and are perfect for those who want a colorful addition to their garden. However, they are sensitive to cold temperatures and need full sun, so it is important to watch them, especially in the early stages of growth.
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Dahlias need at least six to eight hours of full sun each day. If you live in a warmer climate, be sure to plant it in a partially shaded area during peak afternoon hours to avoid the plant.
Dahlias, unlike many other flowers, do not require much water. If you live in an area where there is summer rain, this will usually be enough for the plant to survive. Alternatively, water deeply once or twice a week. You want to make sure that the soil is always moist – if you notice that the top layer is dry, this is a sign that the plant needs water.
Soil temperature is the key to the healthy growth of dahlias. Be sure to plant these flowers in soil 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), and you may want to wait until spring or early summer to plant them.
Although dahlias are not very toxic to pets, you still want to keep these flowers away from your furry friends, as they can cause unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. If you plan to plant your dahlias in the garden or keep them in a vase, be careful about the work area if you have a strange pet at home.
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Pests: Dahlias tend to attract earwigs, thrips and caterpillars. They are also food for swallows, who like to eat dahlias when the plant is young and small. If you have a slug problem, you may want to consider replanting dahlias or finding a new slug-free location for them.
Problems: Like many plants, dahlias are susceptible to fungal diseases, including powdery mildew, which are common in hot and dry climates. This can be indicated if there are white, dusty spots of powder on your leaves. To treat this, you can do one of two things: cut off the infected parts of the plant or apply a fungicide.
Reproduction: Dahlia bulbs (thick, underground part of the stem) should be transplanted in early spring, about eight weeks before the last frost. This gives the plant a head start, allowing it to develop full, healthy blooms this summer.
Propagation: Dahlias can be propagated from seed, bulbs or cuttings. If you choose to propagate with cuttings, make sure you cut off the bottom set of leaves and plant them in a pot of well-drained soil. Keep the pot warm and moist and you will start to see the cuttings root within a few weeks.
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Now that you know the basics, it’s time to cover more tips and questions that will make your growing process even easier!
Although dahlias are very easy to care for, you may still encounter problems or have questions about how to raise them. Below are some frequently asked questions about dahlia flower care and their life cycle.
Since dahlias are warm weather plants, they cannot tolerate cold temperatures. But even when everything above ground dies in the winter, the bulbs stay warm underground. If you live in a climate below 20°F, you can leave the bulbs in the ground – just make sure the plants are cut back to a few inches above ground level. If you live in a climate where winters exceed 20°F, your flowers can survive with dahlia winter care.
It’s best to keep your dahlias in a spot that gets full sun, but spots of color can also encourage dahlia flowers. They prefer rich and well-drained soil, but keep the soil evenly moist, but not too wet, or the roots will rot.
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Yes, because dahlias are perennials, they can emerge from their underground bulbs every year to bloom in the summer. If you live in a warm climate, the chances of dahlias coming back are even greater.
Not only do dahlias make a great addition to any garden, but they also make beautiful spring and summer bouquets! Below are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your beautiful flower arrangement.
After cutting dahlias fresh from your garden, get a pair of sharp scissors or a knife and cut an inch off their stems. Be sure to do this at an angle, as this will allow the plant to absorb more water.
Once you have cut the stems, place the flowers in a vase of your choice filled with warm water (about 110°F). This extends the life of the flowers and allows the water to flow faster in the stems. Don’t forget to cut off any leaves or branches that go under water, as this could shorten the life of the dahlia vase.
Flowering Care Guide
Before you put the flowers on display for everyone to enjoy, you want to keep them in a cool place for an hour or two. The cooler temperatures allow the flowers to absorb quickly
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