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Plant of the Month: Dahlias

Dahlia spp.

Vibrant colors and sizes described as “lollipops” to “dinner plates” make dahlias desirable cut flowers in the garden. These natives of Mexico and Central America are suitable for growing in containers or inground plantings. Some growers say if you can grow tomatoes, you can grow dahlias.

Tubers are the best way to start your dahlias. As with tomatoes, the soil needs to be well drained, rich in organic material, and not too much nitrogen fertilizer. After the danger of frost has passed, plant your tubers in an area that receives about 6 hours of sun with some afternoon shade in our hot summers. Dahlias are tall so plan on staking them for upright growth. The feast for the eyes begins when dahlias bloom midsummer until frost.

By Carol Dorsey

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