Dahlias are available in dozens of shapes and in sizes ranging from petite mignons and poms little more than an inch across to giant decoratives over a foot in diameter. They come in a dazzling array of colors – reds, pinks, yellows, oranges, lavenders-complementing just about any garden setting.
Although dahlias are native to the highland areas of Mexico and Central America, they are particularly fond of our cool-summer Northwest Coast climate in Washington State, and it’s easy for anyone to grow them to perfection with very little care.
How to Plant
You can safely plant sometime between April 15 and June 1. Check your soil; it is better to plant when the soil is slightly moist. Place the tuber flat with the eye upward. The tuber should be about five inches below the ground. The tubers should be planted shallower in heavy soil. You will need to be weary of slugs.
You should water about every two weeks. Certainly more frequently during very hot weather, and when buds begin to form. Deep watering is better than frequent light watering.
You will increase the number of blooms and the length of the bloom time by deadheading.
Blooms should last several days. You will get the best results if you take cuttings early in the morning or late at night. Display flowers in a cooler area of the home. If you mist regularly and change the water every other day you will get your blooms to last several days.
Around November 1 you need to cut down the dahlias and then dig around the root so you can carefully lift the entire plant from the hole. The stalk should be trimmed at root level, washed, and then soaked in fungicide. The roots will keep best if the storage area is cool and above freezing. Line a box with plastic and put in alternate layers of vermiculite and dahlia roots. Be certain to check the dahlia roots on a regular schedule. Dahlia roots can be left in the ground and will survive cold winter days if kept from freezing. Good drainage is essential for roots to be kept successfully in this manner.
Annual Dahlia Tuber & Plant Sale
The Seattle Dahlia Society holds its annual tuber and plant sale each April that is open to the public. Dahlia experts will be on hand to answer any and all questions.
Country Village (Map)
23718 Bothell Everett Hwy,
Bothell, WA 98021-9363
Saturday April 20th, 10am to 6pm
Sunday, April 21st, 11am to 5pm