Dahlia Love: What I know about Dahlias.20:54:00
Just when I thought the hot weather had beaten me and had just about given every plant in my garden a near death experience; all of a sudden it starts to cool down a smidgen, it rains and then 'BOOM'. I get an eruption of blood orange colour, bursts of yellow and of red from my favourite flower of the moment, the Dahlia.
Seriously these plants are just garden super troopers. They require minimum fuss and TLC and they will perform for you and give the most amazing late summer and autumn show. All from a dirty, ugly wonky, warped potato looking tuber. Yep! Just like the one pictured below.
I think my love of these beauties has come from one of my very first visits to Cam's aunty's place out near the farm. Margot is her name and she grows Dahlia's in an abundance of colours and varieties, and they just look amazing tucked in lots of little nooks and crannies amongst all of her roses. I hope to blog about this garden before the end of autumn to show you how nice it is. She has handed over to me a few tubers over the years and from there I have now successfully grown them in my own little garden oases. I should also mention that at my very first attendance at Garden Club early last year the guest speaker at the time also just happened to be talking about Dahlias and I was hooked.
I love the Dahlia for their big, full blooms and the array colours that they are available in and the fact that they are so easy to grow. They really are beautiful when adorned in a vase inside the house and they will last for ages to enjoy. Their big, bushy and luscious green foliage adds great coverage and colour to the garden too and they don't mind the heat as long as they get watered enough. They survived our crazy summer this year and that truely is an effort and a half!!
So you think you might want to have a go at growing these beauties? Here is what I know about growing Dahlia's that may help and inspire you to do the same.
-The time to plant Dahlia tubers is in Spring. I am told the ideal time is straight after Melbourne Cup weekend in the Southern parts of the country which is early November when the threat of really big frosts have passed.
-They only need to be planted about an inch from the surface and they love slightly sandy soil, a bit of cow manure and some mulch. They don't like to be water logged so a bit of drainage is essential
and they like to breathe so pea straw and sugar cane mulch is ideal.
-During flowering time as each bloom dies off, you can dead-head them and they will keep on blooming and blooming until the very end of the season.
- Like hydrangeas, they will get a bit sad and droopy when they are thirsty and that is your cue to water, water and water.
-I have yet to do the storage part of this, however after the last blooms and all the leaves have fallen off you can lift the tubers out and split them up. If you do this, apparently you take out the last years tubers and keep the small new ones that have formed. You can then store them in saw dust in a polystyrene container in the shed to keep them nice and dry until you need to plant them again. Or you can give them to your friends for them to plant in their gardens. Share that Dahlia love!
-Dahlias will definitely come back, year after year if you do leave them in the ground. Though after a few years you should probably dig the tubers up and split them as I have been told that its sometimes better to have less tubers in the ground than say three huge ones.
-Dahlais can be grown from cuttings. Apparently when the shoots are 3 inches high, you can cut to two lower laterals, place them in some cutting mix and plant them.
-If you leave the tubers in the ground they are at risk of rotting which I have found out, as the stems are hollow believe it or not and water can easily travel down and mess up those tubers.
-I give mine a bit of a feed of blood and bone or dynamic lifter, whatever you have lying around every now and then and they love it.
-They are survivors. I have a mexican variety growing against our tin shed on a northerly aspect and it gets the hot summer sun aaaaaaaaal day long. I can tell you that not a leaf wilted or burnt and it flowered and is continuing to do so. However once it cooled down a bit it flowered profusely and I just think its amazing.
-The bees love them so plant them to attract bees to your garden. Bees = pollination = happy plants.
Here are some of the beauties I have had success in growing in my garden. Im not up with the variety names of the individual flowers and there are hundreds of them by the way but from what I could find out I think I have the following Dahlia's growing in my oases. (Feel free anyone to correct me if I am wrong.) I plan to grow a whole lot more next season.
This mammoth grew from a single tuber like the one in the picture above. I can't believe it either!!
These are the Mexican Dahlia's that I was telling you about growing against the hot tin shed. I have split the tubers from these for three years in a row now and they are getting around the garden. I have also forgotten about them too in a couple of beds and to my surprise, like the one below it happily appeared in Spring and has been a joy in the garden.
I didn't have any currently in flower to show you from my garden, but I do love this variety as they are on the smaller side so they fill little gaps in the garden really well. I also love this one for its darker foliage as it is a great contrast to the usual brighter shades of green you see in the garden.
Thats it. Thats what I know. Have I inspired you?
All YOU have to do now is find someone in your hood growing Dahlia's. Tell them how much you love their blooms, and grab some of the tubers.
You have plenty of time to locate them and If you are close by, I am certainly happy to split and share some of mine if anyone is interested in growing them for next season.
So go on, Get planting!!!
Do you love Dahlia's? Whats you fav?
Do you have Dahlia tips to share?
Thanks for visiting today.
Im also linking in with The MultiTasking Mummy- #Mummy Mondays and Life Love and Hiccups for The Weekend Rewind.