Gardening Plants

About Dahlias

dahlias in the garden

My friend Deb for years now has grown the most beautiful dahlias. Raised beds upon raised beds dance with dahlias, zinnias and among other blooms in her cutting garden. This spring, I was inspired to try dahlias in my garden. It was Longfield Gardens once again that gave me a boost. They generously sent me some dahlia tubers to put into the ground.

Tilly's Nest- dahlias-001wp

I planted the tubers after Memorial Day. The danger of frost had passed. In they went, all 20 something of them and then I watered and waited. It took a few weeks for those buds to emerge from the ground. Then over the following weeks I’ve watched healthy tall plants grow. As they grew, I staked them eagerly awaiting blooms. If dahlias are not staked then the stalks can become damaged from the weight of the blooms. Some blooms are so large they are the size of dinner plates!

Tilly's Nest- dahlias-002wp
This is a dinner plate variety of dahlia is called “Mom’s Special”. Surprisingly dahlias are very simple to grow. The dahlias are planted in the ground only a few inches deep. They prefer soil that drains well. They also like full sun.
Tilly's Nest- dahlias-003wp
They require regular watering but like to dry out in between. Otherwise the tubers can rot.
I feed them with a liquid fish emulsion fertilizer every few weeks. Cape Cod critters that love to bother them include Japanese and Oriental beetles, slugs, and even earwigs.  For the beetles and earwigs I pick them off one by one and crush them. I use crushed eggshells for the slugs around the base of the plants.
 Tilly's Nest- dahlias (1)wp2
The dahlias will continue to bloom until the first frost. Then the tubers should be pulled from the ground and stored in a safe dry cool place until next spring when they are ready to be planted again.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest
  • Deb

    Oh, these are so beautiful. I love the last one mostly. They are similar to Gladiolus as far as the care of them over the winter. Deb

  • You got me at your heading "DAHLIAS" I love dahlias, they are just so beautiful, they have to be my favorite flower and yes easy to grow with spectacular blooms. Your dahlias are divine , I think the second picture is my favorite, I might have to try and see if I can get this one xx

  • Liz

    Just beautiful! Looks like your first year was very successful!

  • GORGEOUS! I have always loved dahlias but only starting growing them myself the last few years. They are so easy care and it amazes me that the more you cut the flowers the more they grow! A mason jar filled with such beautiful blooms just sings summer to me. I have a suggestion for you since you just started growing them, when it's time to dig them up and store them don't worry about keeping them separated so you can identify them when replanting next year, just take a sharpie marker and write the name of the dahlia directly on its tuber, easy peasy! And you also have the added bonus when growing them of getting free plants from the baby tubers, how awesome is that?! I love the variety of colors but have been growing one called Cafe au lait which is a muted old fashioned pink, pictures can't come close to showing how truly beautiful the are.
    http://juliesgardendelights.com/floral-friday-dreamy-cafe-au-lait-dahlias-and-how-to-grow-them/

    Thank you for all of your wonderful advice and information. Your blog has helped me many times when dealing with my chickens and I feel that because you love your girls as I do mine I can trust what I learn from you. m