Almost no garden plant can offer a variety of shapes and colors such as dahlias. Its flowers shine from afar and greet us with a majestic gesture as soon as we enter the garden.
Its varied forms and extraordinary variety surprise us and inspire us again and again, whether in a colorful summer bouquet or on a wonderful summer day in the garden or on the balcony.
Originally the plant comes from Central America. Depending on the variety, it blooms with us from June until the first frost. Especially at the end of the summer, it turns our garden but also the public parks into a huge sea of color.
Where do dahlias come from?
Dahlias (Dahlia) are perennial herbaceous plants that sometimes line the stem soil. As persistence organs, they form thickened tubercles or nodular rhizomes. In our latitudes depend on the species and the variety between 40 and 120 cm high.
But there are also exotic forms, such as Dahlia macdougallii A vine that can grow up to 20 meters long and 10 meters high. This species is not growing, but it is native to Mexico.
Dahlias trigger enthusiasm
Dahlia is one of the flowers that always causes admiration and enthusiasm. Especially in many parks, special garden shows are held only with this plant and matching perennials.
We owe the first written records to the Spanish doctor Francisco Hernández at the end of the 16th century. At the end of the 17th century, the first seeds of the Botanical Garden of Mexico went to Madrid at the hands of Antonio José Cavanilles, collaborator and then director of the Royal Botanic Garden of Madrid. Already in the same year the first plants flourished in the Royal Botanic Garden of Madrid.
How do I properly care for my dahlias?
They feel planted in the garden or in a large, more comfortable pot. The best is a normal garden floor. Make sure the soil is not too clayey and moist, otherwise the tubers will rot due to excessive moisture.
Dahlias need a lot of light, shady places and wet places don’t bother them. Then they become “lazy”, they develop only many green leaves but no more flowers and their buds are long and unsightly.
As soon as the temperatures do not drop below zero, the flower can be put outside. The ideal sowing time is from early to mid-May. You don’t have to wait for the ice saints with this plant. If there are still frosts, cover them with a fleece at short notice.
In spring, it is advisable to give the plants a generous composting and support them with a wooden rod or stake. Water regularly, 1-2 fertilizing in the summer and remove the flowers regularly and you will enjoy your dahlia for a long time.
What to look for when buying dahlias
If you don’t have your own dahlia tubers, you can buy the tubers at the beginning of the gardening season (March to May) at garden centers, garden stores, hardware stores and wholesalers or plant them directly in the garden bed or in the box of the garden balcony.
Early advancement of dahlia tubers
One way to prune dahlias in flowering is that tubers can be “fed” in pots since the end of March. In my apprenticeship as a gardener, we place the dahlia in wooden boxes prepared with some soil and cover it with approximately 3 to 4 cm of soil. Then in the warm boiler room!
As soon as the first shoots crossed the ground, the tubers were carefully removed from the vegetable boxes, planted in suitable containers and moved to a cooler greenhouse (the so-called cold chamber). There they were grown at 8-15 degrees until they were ready for sale.
Of course, you can also advance the dahlias. Take a sufficiently large pot (diameter of at least 20 cm) and place the tuber about 5 – 8 cm deep on the ground. Then cover the tubers carefully with soil. Pour moderately while working and place the pot in a cool place. At the beginning there is also the living room.
As soon as they start to move, make the pot cool and shine! If the plants are too warm, they grow too fast and the buds become long and “fresh.”
The ideal location is a bright and cool staircase, an unheated or only slightly heated greenhouse, a fresh and bright basement or the laundry room. Ideal is a temperature of 8 to 15 degrees. Care must be taken to ensure that there is sufficient light during the growth phase.
Video tutorial: dahlias plant
Dahlias and tubers are not resistant. It is recommended to dig the tubers carefully after the first frost. Before digging, reduce the aerial parts of the plants to 5 – 6 cm. It should be noted that the tubers are not extracted too soon, since they store nutrients for the following year. Remove the lazy or diseased parts of the tubers.
Store the frost-free tubers in a dark, dry basement at a temperature of four to eight degrees Celsius. It makes sense to cover them a little with moistened sand. They are molded less and cannot be dried. Wooden boxes for newsprint have been tested as wintering rooms.
The cycle will begin again next spring. If you can’t spend the winter in dahlia tubers, simply buy the tubers every year. It is always worth it for the abundance of flowers.