If you have followed me at all, you’ll know I love dahlias! I have been growing them over the last three years, and my gardens keep growing each year. Make sure you are following me this year because I will be building so much more this year! They are just an addictive flower to grow due to their size, vibrant colors, and shapes. I’m just amazed at their beauty! And, today, I’m here to spill the dirt on dahlias!
Alright, plant pals, let’s spill the dirt on dahlias! These babies are like the rockstars of the garden, bringing all the colors and drama. Buckle up for a laid-back guide to turning your garden into a dahlia haven. If you are thinking about planting dahlias in 2024, now is the time to start planning.
Picking Your Squad
First things first, know your dahlia types. Whether you’re into those Dinnerplate divas or the low-key Pompons, choosing your favorites sets the vibe for your floral party.
Planting the Party
Stick those tubers in the ground when winter is just a bad memory. Make sure the ground is prepared. Give them rest about 18-24″ apart. Don’t use any soil that contains Miracle Grow. It can kill your tubers. Use only organic materials. Give them a cozy spot with good drainage and let the sunshine hit them at least 6-8 hours a day. It’s like a sunbath for your plants – they love it!
Water Wisely, My Friend
Wait until they have sprouted from the ground with that lovely green color before watering after planting them. The tubers could rot if water too much right after planting. After they sprout with their lovely greenery, begin watering them. They love water, but don’t drown them, and don’t be that plant parent who forgets to hydrate. Keep the soil chill and moist, and mulch it up to keep the party vibes going strong.
Stand Tall, Darling
Dahlias can get a bit tipsy, especially the taller ones. Be a good friend and offer them some support – stakes and ties will keep them on their feet and looking fabulous.
Feed those beauties. They’re like picky eaters at a buffet. Start with a balanced meal when planting, then hit them up with some bloom-booster during the season. But, hey, no overstuffing! Your soil can be enhanced with organic material – such as compost, leaf humus, oak leaves, peat moss, well-rotted manure, rice and other hulls, mushroom compost – every year. If you’re not sure what type of nutrients your soil needs, you can send a sample to the University of Minnesota to have it tested. Here is the link to get you started!
Haircuts and Cleanup
Just like a good trim for yourself, dahlias need some grooming. Snip off the spent flowers to keep the party going. And hey, a little pinch for those young plants will make them bushy and sassy.
Dodging Drama – Bugs and Diseases
Watch out for the usual suspects – aphids and spider mites. Keep your eyes peeled, and if there’s any weird plant gossip, address it ASAP. Healthy vibes only! Check out my post that offers a step-by-step guide to dahlias with more info on the bug situation.
Laying Them Down for a Long Winter’s Nap
Dahlias are not Game of Thrones fans – they don’t like the cold, especially in MN. Save those tubers from frosty nights, give them a cozy blanket, and dream of the warmer days ahead. Check out my YouTube video on storing my tubers for the 2023-24 winter. Please subscribe to my channel as well!
There you have it, garden gang! Dahlias are a true knock-your-socks off plant. Your guide to turning your patch into a dahlia disco. Now go out there and let your garden bloom like nobody’s watching! If you’d like to learn more about dahlias, go to www.minnesotadahliasociety.org for more great educational material.
This post was written with assistance from GPTChat and integrated with my own experience and words.